Tobacco Treatment Program Implementation at NCI Cancer Centers: Progress of the NCI Cancer Moonshot-Funded Cancer Center Cessation Initiative

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2019 Nov;12(11):735-740. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-19-0182. Epub 2019 Sep 3.


Quitting smoking leads to improved outcomes for patients with cancer, yet too few patients receive cessation services during their oncology healthcare visits. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) dedicated Cancer Moonshot funding for NCI-Designated Cancer Centers to develop a population-based approach to reach all patients who smoke with tobacco treatment services. As a result, the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I) offers an unparalleled opportunity to identify effective implementation strategies and barriers to delivering tobacco treatment services across multiple clinical oncology settings. Over one year after receiving funding, the first cohort of C3I funded Centers demonstrated progress in hiring tobacco treatment specialists, adding new tobacco treatment programs, and integrating EHR-based tobacco treatment referrals. However, tobacco treatment program reach remains low in some settings, even using a broad definition of patient engagement. Centers identified implementation challenges related to staff training needs, devising new clinical workflows, and engagement of IT leadership. Understanding implementation challenges may help other clinical oncology settings effectively implement tobacco treatment programs, leading to improved cancer outcomes by helping patients quit smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Plan Implementation*
  • Humans
  • National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
  • Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Tobacco Smoking / prevention & control*
  • United States