Improved patient outcome with smoking cessation: when is it too late?

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2011;6:259-67. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S10771. Epub 2011 May 2.

Abstract

Smoking is the leading modifiable risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and lung cancer. Smoking cessation is the only proven way of modifying the natural course of COPD. It is also the most effective way of reducing the risk for myocardial infarction and lung cancer. However, the full benefits of tobacco treatment may not be realized until many years of abstinence. All patients with COPD, regardless of severity, appear to benefit from tobacco treatment. Similarly, patients with recent CVD events also benefit from tobacco treatment. The risk of total mortality and rate of recurrence of lung cancer is substantially lower in smokers who manage to quit smoking following the diagnosis of early stage lung cancer or small cell lung cancer. Together, these data suggest that tobacco treatment is effective both as a primary and a secondary intervention in reducing total morbidity and mortality related to COPD, CVD, and lung cancer. In this paper, we summarize the evidence for tobacco treatment and the methods by which smoking cessation can be promoted in smokers with lung disease.

Keywords: COPD; lung cancer; smoking cessation; tobacco treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / mortality
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / mortality
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome