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Comment & Response
July 25, 2019

The Use of e-Cigarettes in Patients With Cancer—A Double Shipwreck—In Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas
  • 2McGraw/Patterson Center for Population Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Oncol. 2019;5(9):1372. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2396

In Reply We thank Dr Braillon for the spirited reply to our article describing trends in smoking and e-cigarette use in patients with cancer and cancer survivors.1

We share the author’s concern regarding stable rates of conventional smoking in the oncology population. A survey of thoracic oncologists in the United States found that although 81% advised patients to stop tobacco use, only 30% to 40% discussed medication strategies and provided cessation assistance.2 The reasons for the latter are likely multifactorial, including time constraints, limited resources, and insufficient expertise, along with pessimism regarding patients’ motivation in quitting. In addition to overall and cancer-specific health benefits associated with quitting smoking after a cancer diagnosis, research has also shown that smoking cessation is cost-effective.3 Therefore, more funding is needed to develop pilot programs to test strategies to optimize smoking cessation rates in patients with cancer.