Tobacco use in women with lung cancer

Ann Behav Med. 2007 Jun;33(3):242-50. doi: 10.1007/BF02879906.


Background: Smoking cessation after a cancer diagnosis is associated with improved clinical outcomes.

Purpose: The aims of this study are to determine smoking prevalence, describe patterns of smoking, identify readiness to quit and cessation strategies, identify factors associated with continued smoking among women with lung cancer, and determine smoking prevalence among household members.

Methods: Data were collected through questionnaires and medical record review from 230 women. Smoking was determined through self-report and biochemical verification with urinary cotinine.

Results: Eighty-seven percent of women reported ever-smoking, and 37% reported smoking at the time of diagnosis. Ten percent of women were smoking at entry to the study, 13% were smoking at 3 months, and 11% at 6 months. Fifty-five percent of smokers planned a quit attempt within the next month. One third of smokers received cessation assistance at diagnosis, and pharmacotherapy was the most common strategy. Significant factors associated with continued smoking included younger age, depression, and household member smoking. Continued smoking among household members was 21%. Twelve percent of household members changed their smoking behavior; 77% quit smoking, but 12% started smoking.

Conclusions: The diagnosis of cancer is a strong motivator for behavioral change, and some patients need additional support to quit smoking. Family members should also be targeted for cessation interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control