Taking care of smoker cancer patients: a review and some recommendations

Ann Oncol. 2010 Jul;21(7):1404-1409. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdp599. Epub 2010 Jan 20.


A cancer patient who smokes is a very fragile person and we identify in scientific literature three main areas of clinical practice and research to develop the care of smokers with cancer. (i) Telling facts: smoking impacts on the survival and on the outcomes of surgery, chemo-, radio- and biological therapies. The aim of our intervention was to enable patients to make informed choices about smoking. (ii) Offering sensitive and effective smoking cessation like an instrument of patient empowerment to motivate change in smoker patient lifestyle. (iii) Assisting smoker patients if they develop acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Smoking care and nicotine replacement therapy can support temporary abstinence during the inpatient stay and providing patients with an opportunity for smoking cessation can prompt a future permanent quit attempt. Comprehensive cancer centers must act like a promoter of a better smokers' care, applying guidelines to their reality and try to do more research on smokers' needs and on the resources to assist them. Only the alliance between victims of smoking addiction and health personnel can give a chance against the tobacco epidemic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology