Helping patients to reduce tobacco consumption in oncology: a narrative review

Claudio Lucchiari, Marianna Masiero, Andrea Botturi, Gabriella Pravettoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The present overview focuses on evidence of smoking cessation approaches in oncology settings with the aim to provide health personnel a critical perspective on how to help their patients. This narrative review is structured in two main sections: the first one describes the psycho-cognitive variables involved in the decision to continue smoking after a cancer diagnosis and during the treatment; the second section relates methods and tools may be recommended, being evidence-based, to support smoking cessation in oncology settings. Active smoking increases not only susceptibility to common cancers in the general population, but also increases disease severity and comorbidities in cancer patients. Nowadays, scientific evidence has identified many strategies to give up smoking, but a lack of knowledge exists for treatment of nicotine dependence in the cancer population. Health personnel is often ambiguous when approaching the problem, while their contribution is essential in guiding patients towards healthier choices. We argue that smoking treatments for cancer patients deserve more attention and that clinical features, individual characteristics and needs of the patient should be assessed in order to increase the attempts success rate. Health personnel that daily work and interact with cancer patients and their caregivers have a fundamental role in the promotion of the health changing. For this reason, it is important that they have adequate knowledge and resources in order to support cancer patients to stop tobacco cigarette smoking and promoting and healthier lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1136
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Cigarette smoking
  • Decision-making
  • Oncology
  • Smoking cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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