Reducing risk in smokers.
ABSTRACT Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For smokers who want to quit, nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion are frequently recommended. Currently, disagreement surrounds the extent of risk reduction from quitting, the consequences of the change of nicotine replacement therapy to over-the-counter status, and the safety and efficacy of new tobacco products being marketed by tobacco companies. This article reviews the current evidence relevant to these and other developments in smoking interventions and describes the most effective strategies that smokers can use to reduce their risk.
Although it may take approximately 10 to 30 years of abstinence for former smokers' risk of lung cancer to reach that of never smokers, quitting at any time is substantially less risky than continuing to smoke. Quitting after diagnosis also prolongs survival. Bupropion and nicotine replacement therapy are effective pharmacotherapies, doubling quit rates compared with self-quitting. However, many users of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy are using it inappropriately. More research is needed to determine the long-term health effects of modified tobacco products and their efficacy in helping smokers quit. Switching to "low tar" filter cigarettes to reduce lung cancer risk, however, is clearly ineffective. The most effective interventions for quitting continue to be a combination of behavioral and pharmacologic approaches.
Health care practitioners should encourage all smokers to attempt cessation and emphasize pharmacotherapy as an important aid to quitting. Professionals who educate patients on the appropriate use of pharmacotherapy and follow-up on smokers' attempts to quit will help reduce the societal burden and personal risks of smoking.
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ABSTRACT: We conducted this study because the duration of excess lung cancer risk among former smokers has been inconsistently reported, doubt has been raised regarding the population impact of smoking cessation, and differential risk reduction by histologic cell type after smoking cessation needs to be confirmed. The Iowa Women's Health Study is a prospective cohort study of 41,836 Iowa women aged 55 to 69 years. In 1986, mailed questionnaires were used to collect detailed smoking history. Age-adjusted lung cancer incidence through 1999 was analyzed according to years of smoking abstinence. Relative risks were estimated using Cox regression analysis. There were 37,078 women in the analytic cohort. Compared with the never smokers, former smokers had an elevated lung cancer risk (relative risk, 6.6; 95% confidence interval, 5.0 to 8.7) up to 30 years after smoking cessation for all former smokers. However, a beneficial effect of smoking cessation was observed among recent and distant former smokers. The risk of adenocarcinoma remained elevated up to 30 years for both former heavier and former lighter smokers. The risk for lung cancer is increased for both current and former smokers compared with never smokers and declines for former smokers with increasing duration of abstinence. The decline in excess lung cancer risk among former smokers is prolonged compared with other studies, especially for adenocarcinoma and for heavy smokers, suggesting that more emphasis should be placed on smoking prevention and lung cancer chemoprevention.Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2003; 21(5):921-6. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Shifts in the distribution of histologic types have reportedly accompanied changes in lung carcinoma incidence in the last two decades. In the United States, incidence rates of squamous cell and small cell carcinoma have been showing a decline in males, after peaks in 1981-82 and 1986-87, respectively; however, no decline has been observed in females. In both genders, adenocarcinoma incidence is increasing. The authors evaluated lung carcinoma incidence rates in two Swiss cantons for changes in trends by gender, birth cohort, and histologic type. The authors analyzed data on population-based lung carcinoma incidence from the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Neuchatel (the populations of which total about 760,000). Cancers were grouped into four major histologic types. The proportion of cancers not histologically confirmed was approximately 8% across the entire study period. Incidence rates were age-standardized on the basis of the world standard population. Overall, of 7423 cancer cases diagnosed in the period 1974-1994, squamous cell carcinomas accounted for 37%, small cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas 18% each, and other carcinomas 16%. Rates of squamous cell and small cell carcinoma incidence in males of all ages dropped in the last quinquennium, while corresponding rates in females increased steadily. Conversely, adenocarcinoma incidence increased in both genders by approximately 2.5-fold; and during the period 1990-1994, in young adults of both genders, it was more than 3-fold higher than the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma. At variance with squamous cell carcinoma, the incidence of which reached its peaks in the 1910-20 birth cohorts in males and in the 1930-40 birth cohorts in females, adenocarcinoma revealed a similar birth cohort pattern in the two genders, with still no sign of decline. Although changes in diagnostic practices may have played a role, the incidence data presented in this study suggest that adenocarcinoma is sustaining a new lung carcinoma epidemic, chiefly attributable to the switch to low-tar, filtered cigarettes. Its pattern seems remarkably similar in the two genders. Thus, the authors conclude that similar exposure to tobacco-related carcinogens leads to similar rates of histologic type-specific lung carcinoma incidence in males and females.Cancer 04/1997; 79(5):906-14. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To characterize nonprescription nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) users with respect to sociodemographic characteristics, tobacco use history, and support for tobacco cessation received from health care professionals; assess the methods used for quitting (past and present) by NRT users; assess NRT users' perceptions of the need for and usefulness of pharmacist-facilitated cessation interventions; and determine the types of pharmacy-based interventions that would be most helpful before and during quit attempts. One-time attitudinal assessment. Primarily Northern California. One hundred three individuals who had recently purchased nonprescription NRT products for use during their current or upcoming quit attempt. In-depth telephone interviews. Perceptions of pharmacy-based tobacco cessation counseling services. The concept of pharmacist-facilitated assistance was appealing to many NRT users. Sixty-three percent of participants believed that receiving advice or assistance from a pharmacist would either probably (46%) or definitely (17%) increase a smoker's likelihood of being able to quit. Twenty-one percent were unsure, and 16% thought pharmacist assistance would not increase the chance of success. Forty-six percent reported that they would be either very or extremely likely to meet with a pharmacist for one-on-one counseling if a nominal ($10) co-payment were required; this percentage increased to 68% if the service were provided free of charge. The preferred structure for counseling interventions varied widely among participants, suggesting that individually tailored counseling programs are necessary. A substantial proportion of nonprescription NRT users view pharmacist-assisted cessation as an appealing approach to smoking cessation.Journal of the American Pharmacists Association: JAPhA 01/2003; 43(5):573-82. · 1.16 Impact Factor