Peer-delivered smoking counseling for childhood cancer survivors increases rate of cessation: the partnership for health study

J Clin Oncol. 2005 Sep 20;23(27):6516-23. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2005.07.048. Epub 2005 Aug 22.


Purpose: Cancer survivors smoke at rates that are only slightly lower than the general population. This article reports on the final outcomes of Partnership for Health, a smoking cessation intervention for smokers in the Childhood Cancer Survivors Study (CCSS).

Methods: This study is a randomized control trial with follow-up at 8 and 12 months that involved smokers (n = 796) enrolled onto the CCSS cohort. Participants were randomly assigned to either a self-help or a peer-counseling program that included up to six telephone calls from a trained childhood cancer survivor, tailored and targeted materials, and free nicotine replacement therapy. The intervention was delivered by telephone and postal service mail.

Results: The quit rate was significantly higher in the counseling group compared with the self-help group at both the 8-month (16.8% v 8.5%; P < .01) and 12-month follow-ups (15% v 9%; P < or = .01). Controlling for baseline self-efficacy and readiness to change, the intervention group was twice as likely to quit smoking, compared with the self-help group. Smoking cessation rate increased with an increase in the number of counseling calls. The cost of delivering the intervention was approximately 300 dollars per participant. The incremental cost-effectiveness of the intervention compared with controls was 5,371 dollars per additional quit.

Conclusion: Interventions to prevent future illnesses are of critical importance to childhood cancer survivors. The Partnership for Health intervention resulted in a doubling of smoking cessation quit rates. Because of the seriousness of smoking among childhood cancer survivors, this intervention model may be appropriate as a multicomponent treatment program for survivors who smoke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Nicotine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Survivors
  • United States


  • Nicotine