There are many obstacles to face when helping people quit smoking. Smoking can be a very strong habit that involves the potent drug nicotine, but is a very important lifestyle change, especially for patients undergoing cancer treatment. It is critical that cancer patients quit smoking after initial diagnosis, as this has been shown to positively impact response to treatments (therapeutic radiology, chemotherapy, surgery), decrease the likelihood that patients will develop second malignancies, and increase rates of survival. Motivational factors often come into play because people receive satisfaction from smoking, and in many cases have been smoking since youth.
Smilow Cancer Hospital offers a quit smoking program. The program aims to help patients quit by combining counseling and drug treatment. The cessation program is offered to all patients being treated at Smilow in Connecticut. Tobacco products are rapidly changing with the advent of new technology. Electronic devices are available that look and feel like real cigarettes, but deliver nicotine through vapor instead of smoke. The manufacturers of these products claim that they are safer than regular cigarettes, but there have been no long-term studies to understand the potential harm relative to cigarette smoking. What we do know is that these products can be equally as addictive as cigarettes. Young adults 18 and over who desire assistance to stop vaping and/or smoking can contact our service and if needed, can be connected with other health services (e.g., mental health). We offer evidence-based treatment options, including medications and behavioral strategies, to meet their individual needs.
The Tobacco Treatment Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital operates on the principles of the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guidelines. All treatment components are evidence-based. Therefore, all patients are treated with FDA approved first line medications for smoking cessation and smoking cessation counseling that stresses appropriate coping skills (e.g., coping with cravings, major relapse triggers, etc).
The program utilizes the appropriate treatment based on each patient’s individual situation and history with smoking.
To find out more information about the service, please contact the Tobacco Treatment Program by email or by phone at (203) 688-1378. Telehealth services are also available to patients who want to utilize our Service.