Effects of active non-smoking programmes on smoking behaviour in oral precancer patients

Oral & MaxilloFacial Surgery, School of Dental Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.57). 08/2007; 36(8):706-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijom.2007.03.001
Source: PubMed


Smoking is the commonest risk factor for oral cancer and precancer. The objective of this study was to characterize smoking behaviour and attitude in a cohort of oral precancer patients in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and to determine changes in behaviour during diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Twenty-seven consecutive, smoking patients with dysplastic oral lesions were recruited to the study and a detailed smoking history obtained, quantifying types and numbers of cigarettes smoked, length of smoking history, and changes in smoking behaviour during treatment episodes and long-term follow-up. All patients underwent an interventional management protocol comprising risk-factor education, histopathological diagnosis by incisional biopsy and laser excision of lesions. Patients were followed up for 5 years. Whilst there was a significant decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked at patients' most recent follow-up compared with initial presentation (p<0.001), 74% continued to smoke. Patients received advice from a smoking cessation adviser on support available to them from the local NHS (National Health Service) Stop Smoking services. Six out of 10 patients who set a 'quit date' and attended a programme had quit at the 4-week follow-up but only 5 remained non-smokers. Smoking remains a considerable problem in oral precancer patients even after interventional treatment, with the risk of further precancerous lesions and malignant transformation.

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