Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Helping patients live tobacco-free


blog tobacco cessation

CTCA near Phoenix now offers a new program for patients who wish to quit smoking. The Tobacco Cessation Program educates patients on the benefits of quitting and the effects tobacco use has on cancer treatment.

Approximately one-third of all cancer deaths are related to tobacco use, according to the American Cancer Society. Furthermore, more than 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking. But the good news is, it is never too late to quit. The Tobacco Cessation Program provides patients with the tools and support needed to help them quit successfully.

How does the Tobacco Cessation Program work?

A certified tobacco treatment specialist meets with patients to discuss ways to quit smoking. Multiple options are presented, and patients can choose a combination of treatments to meet their individual needs:

  • Patients can speak with a mind-body therapist to address their concerns and feelings about quitting smoking.
  • Working with a dietitian can help patients stay as nutritionally healthy as possible while quitting smoking.
  • Acupuncturists can use techniques to help relieve stress associated with quitting.
  • Occupational therapists can help patients re-work their everyday routines to make smoking less of a priority.
  • Using herbal medicine, naturopathic oncology providers can help patients manage anxiety and physical side effects of quitting smoking.
  • Patients can consult with a pulmonologist, a physician who specializes in lung health, who can help determine the effects smoking has had on pulmonary status and create a customized medical plan to treat any underlying disease and improve quality of life.

Why quit smoking during cancer treatment?

There are many benefits to quitting tobacco use during cancer treatment. Being tobacco-free can help decrease the risk of infections, reduce the risk of developing metastatic cancer and make chemotherapy treatment more effective. On the other hand, smoking during treatment may decrease normal cell growth and make treatments less effective.

According to the American Cancer Society, the positive effects of quitting smoking begin immediately, and get better over time:

  • 20 minutes after quitting: Heart rate and blood pressure drops.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Circulation improves and lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smokers.
  • 5 years after quitting: Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.
  • 10 years after quitting: The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

If at any time a patient relapses and begins using tobacco again, certified tobacco treatment specialists are there to help start the process over again.

Read more about the Tobacco Cessation Program at our hospital near Phoenix.