The biological and clinical effects of smoking by patients with cancer and strategies to implement evidence-based tobacco cessation support

Lancet Oncol. 2014 Nov;15(12):e568-80. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70266-9. Epub 2014 Oct 26.


Tobacco use is an established risk factor for the development of several cancers; however, far less work has been done to understand the effects of continued smoking on cancer treatment outcomes, and structured tobacco cessation efforts are not well incorporated into the standard care for patients with cancer. In this Review we discuss the known biological effects of smoking on cancer cell biology and emphasise the clinical effects of continued smoking in patients with cancer treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Although evidence supports the need for inclusion of dedicated tobacco cessation efforts for patients with cancer, clinicians should consider the methods used to provide evidence-based tobacco cessation support and the available resources to deliver and maintain consistent tobacco cessation support. We also address the variables to consider in the design and implementation of a sustainable tobacco cessation programme.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / drug therapy
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Treatment Outcome