Predictors of smoking cessation among cancer patients enrolled in a smoking cessation program

Acta Oncol. 2011 Jun;50(5):678-84. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2011.572915. Epub 2011 May 2.


Many cancer patients continue to smoke postdiagnosis, which is associated with poorer clinical outcomes. Identifying prospective predictors of smoking cessation among patients currently receiving smoking cessation treatment can help guide the development and implementation of smoking cessation programs with this population.

Material and methods: Data from 246 cancer patients participating in a randomized placebo-controlled smoking cessation clinical trial were used to examine baseline predictors of end-of-treatment and six-month postbaseline smoking cessation outcomes. Baseline demographic, smoking-related, disease-related, and psychological variables were examined as predictors of biochemically-confirmed point-prevalence abstinence.

Results: Multivariate analysis indicated that, for end-of-treatment abstinence, patients were significantly more likely to have quit smoking if they were older (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.03-1.10, p < 0.05) and were diagnosed with a non-tobacco related cancer (OR = 2.54, 95% CI: 1.24-5.20, p < 0.05). Likewise, for six-month abstinence, patients were significantly more likely to have quit smoking if they were older (OR = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.01-1.08, p < 0.05) and were significantly less likely to have quit smoking if they were female (OR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.22-0.97, p < 0.05). Patients with tobacco-related cancers and female patients reported significantly higher levels of depression symptoms (p < 0.05), which proved predictive of smoking relapse.

Conclusions: Patient age, gender, and cancer-type may be important factors to consider when developing and implementing smoking cessation interventions for cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use
  • Placebos
  • Prognosis
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Smoking Cessation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Placebos
  • Bupropion
  • Nicotine