A pilot test of a combined tobacco dependence treatment and lung cancer screening program

Lung Cancer. 2012 May;76(2):211-5. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.10.011. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


Lung cancer screening with computed tomography has demonstrated a significant reduction in mortality. While these findings are important for the lung cancer research field, the most important risk factor for lung cancer, i.e. smoking, should not be ignored. We performed a pilot study to examine the feasibility of delivering a program that included both tobacco dependence treatment and lung cancer screening. The objectives of this study were to: (1) estimate the proportion of smokers who complied with a 12-week treatment protocol that included both tobacco dependence treatment and lung cancer screening, (2) obtain preliminary estimates of abstinence and quit attempts at 4 and 6 months, and (3) obtain preliminary estimates of the cognitive social health information processing (C-SHIP) constructs and how they change following the intervention. In this randomized pilot study, 18 volunteers completed a 12-week protocol: half received the tobacco dependence treatment program before a CT scan (BCT) and the other received the CT scan first, followed by the treatment program (ACT). The treatment protocol included both nurse-delivered telephone counseling and either nicotine replacement therapy or varenicline. Only one person did not complete all follow-up evaluations. At 4 months post enrollment, the carbon monoxide confirmed quit rates were 33.3% in the BCT arm and 22.2% in the ACT arm (27.8% overall), and all but one had made a 24-h attempt to quit. At 6 months the confirmed abstinence decreased to 22.1% in the BCT arm and 11.1% in the ACT arm (16.7% overall), and 72.2% of participants had made a 24-h quit attempt. These preliminary results suggest that it might be better to deliver treatment before the screening test. Future randomized trials with a larger sample size are needed to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzazepines / therapeutic use
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quinoxalines / therapeutic use
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Varenicline


  • Benzazepines
  • Quinoxalines
  • Varenicline