According to a 2014 Report of the Surgeon General, continued smoking after a lung cancer diagnosis is associated with an approximate 50% median increase in mortality.
Dr. Conor Steuer, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues performed prospective assessments evaluating the patterns of tobacco use and cessation and the effects on outcomes. The first comprehensive, prospective study of smoking habits in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) revealed that there was a high rate of smoking reduction and cessation following study entry.
The researchers found that of those surveyed, 90% reported a current or previous history of cigarette smoking, but by the time of study enrollment only 11% reported being current smokers. With regards to patients that reported smoking at the time of their lung cancer diagnosis but no longer by the time of study enrollment, 1% of them reported smoking at the 12th month followup. Overall, 94% of the respondents smoked no/fewer cigarettes daily at 12 months.
“This is the first comprehensive, prospective report of smoking habits in NSCLC patients from a phase III early-stage trial. There was a high rate of smoking reduction and cessation following study entry. DFS did not differ significantly between smokers and never smokers, though there were less grade 3-5 toxicities and more favorable OS in never-smokers,” Steuer concluded.
The EU “Beating Cancer Plan”
Meanwhile in Europe, a number of tobacco harm reduction and vaping advocate groups, are disappointed by the bias against e-cigarettes shown by the European Commission (EC), in their newly launched ‘Beating Cancer Plan,’ despite all the scientific evidence indicating the effectiveness of the products as tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation tools.
“Smoking and vaping are not the same and the Commission knows this. However, due to an ideological approach, they are neglecting their duty to pursue policies in the best interest of all EU citizens. Treating the two as the same is a mistake that could prevent thousands of smokers from quitting smoking. After all, we know that vaping is twice as effective as other methods to stop smoking,” said Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA).
“If vaping is subject to the same rules as cigarettes – higher taxes, bans in certain places etc – then those that gave up smoking thanks to vaping will see smoking become, relatively speaking, more appealing. That’s a disaster and flies in the face of what the EU is hoping to achieve. If the EU is concerned about young people taking up vaping, then let’s enforce age restrictions but making vaping more expensive and less enjoyable is a sure-fire way to drive current vapers straight back to the old habit,” added Landl.
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