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Gritz ER, Talluri R, Fokom Domgue J, Tami-Maury I, Shete S. Smoking Behaviors in Survivors of Smoking-Related and Non–Smoking-Related Cancers. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e209072. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.9072
Among adult cancer survivors, do cigarette smoking behaviors vary according to whether the cancer was smoking related or not smoking related?
This cross-sectional study found that, in the 2017 US National Health Interview Survey, which included 26 742 respondents aged 18 years or older, current smoking prevalence was higher among smoking-related cancer survivors compared with non–smoking-related cancer survivors (19.78% vs 10.63%). After cancer diagnosis, the odds of continued cigarette smoking were twice as high among those with smoking-related cancers compared with those with non–smoking-related cancers.
Compared with non–smoking-related cancer survivors, smoking-related cancer survivors have a higher risk of being cigarette smokers and of continuing smoking.
The population of cancer survivors is rapidly growing in the US. Tobacco smoking is associated with many cancers; however, whether cigarette smoking behaviors among cancer survivors vary according to cancer type—that is, smoking-related cancers (SRCs) vs non–smoking-related cancers (NSRCs)—remains unclear.
To examine cigarette smoking prevalence and behaviors (ie, continuing or quitting smoking) among cancer survivors and to compare them between survivors of SRCs and NSRCs.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This study was a cross-sectional analysis of the 2017 National Health Interview Survey, a household survey of civilian US residents who were aged 18 years or older. The National Health Interview Survey is population based and is representative of the US population. Data analysis was performed from June to October 2019.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcomes were prevalence of current cigarette smoking among cancer survivors and prevalence of continuing smoking and quitting smoking after a cancer diagnosis. Secondary outcomes included factors associated with continued smoking vs quitting smoking after a cancer diagnosis.
A total of 26 742 respondents (mean [SD] age, 50.97 [18.61] years; 14 646 women [51.76%]) to the 2017 National Health Interview Survey were included in this study. Of the 3068 individuals (9.42%) in the study population who had cancer, 589 (19.96%) were SRC survivors, 2297 (74.50%) were NSRC survivors, 168 (4.96%) were survivors of both SRC and NSRC, and the remaining 14 (0.58%) had missing information about the type of cancer. Four hundred forty-nine SRC survivors (54.08%) were women, compared with 1412 NSRC survivors (54.30%). Ninety-six SRC survivors (15.69%) and 151 NSRC survivors (7.99%) were younger than 45 years. Overall, 372 cancer survivors (13.16%) were current smokers. Current smoking prevalence was higher among survivors of SRCs (145 survivors [19.78%]) compared with NSRC survivors (251 survivors [10.63%]). Among cancer survivors, 309 current smokers at cancer diagnosis (43.96%) reported having successfully quit smoking and 372 (56.04%) reported continuing smoking. Among the continuing smokers, 176 (56.49%) reported an unsuccessful quit attempt in the last 12 months. After cancer diagnosis, SRC survivors had higher odds of continued smoking compared with NSRC survivors (odds ratio [OR], 2.10; 95% CI, 1.12-3.93; P = .02). Men (OR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.05-3.57; P = .04), those with angina pectoris (OR, 5.40; 95% CI, 1.33-21.91; P = .02), and those with chronic bronchitis (OR, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.05-6.19; P = .04) had higher odds of continued smoking, whereas Hispanic participants (compared with non-Hispanic white participants: OR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.05-0.68; P = .01) and married participants (compared with never married participants: OR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.12-0.96; P = .04) had lower odds of continued smoking.
Conclusions and Relevance
These findings suggest that compared with NSRC survivors, SRC survivors may be at higher risk of being cigarette smokers at cancer diagnosis and of continuing smoking afterward. Although smoking cessation interventions are critically important for all cancer survivors, special efforts should target survivors of SRCs.
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