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Smoking Cessation in Patients With Cancer: Treatment Advances and the Oncologist's Role

Paul Cinciripini

The harms of smoking cigarettes are well-known, and the benefits of smoking cessation are well-established. Smoking cessation is especially important for patients with cancer, because smoking compromises the effects of cancer treatment and shortens survival. Interventions to achieve tobacco abstinence include pharmacotherapy and counseling, and these often must be repeated. Patients should be encouraged at every juncture to continue attempts to stop smoking.

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A Brief Review of Pharmacotherapies for Smoking Cessation

Cho Y. Lam, Jennifer A. Minnix, Jason D. Robinson, and Paul M. Cinciripini

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Clinical Practice Guidelines have established both nicotine and nonnicotine-based pharmacotherapies as efficacious treatments for smoking cessation. Smokers attempting to quit smoking can significantly increase their chances by using one of several first-line agents, including nicotine transdermal patches, gum, nasal spray, inhalers, tablets, and the antidepressant bupropion. Those who cannot use either bupropion or nicotine replacement therapy because of contraindications or lack of effectiveness may benefit from the second-line treatment nortriptyline. This article also discusses several novel compounds for smoking cessation.

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Tobacco Cessation Treatment Pathways for Patients With Cancer: 10 Years in the Making

Maher Karam-Hage, Hanadi Ajam Oughli, Vance Rabius, Diane Beneventi, Rosario C. Wippold, Janice A. Blalock, and Paul M. Cinciripini

Tobacco use is the most common cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States; it accounts for one-third of all cancer deaths and is thought to account for half of preventable cancer deaths. This article describes the Tobacco Treatment Program at a major academic cancer center. Patients and employees may access these services in a number of ways. All current smokers and recent quitters are proactively contacted and invited to participate. Services provided are tailored to the motivational level of individual patients and their immediate medical needs. The treatment pathways we present are based on our experience from the last 10 years in treating more than 5,000 unique patients with around 60,000 patient visits. These pathways include behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy, including first-line, second-line, and off-label medication use. This article describes the program with the goal of providing guidance and ideas to others who are developing treatment programs and providing treatment to tobacco users.

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Smoking Cessation, Version 1.2016, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology

Peter G. Shields, Roy S. Herbst, Douglas Arenberg, Neal L. Benowitz, Laura Bierut, Julie Bylund Luckart, Paul Cinciripini, Bradley Collins, Sean David, James Davis, Brian Hitsman, Andrew Hyland, Margaret Lang, Scott Leischow, Elyse R. Park, W. Thomas Purcell, Jill Selzle, Andrea Silber, Sharon Spencer, Tawee Tanvetyanon, Brian Tiep, Hilary A. Tindle, Reginald Tucker-Seeley, James Urbanic, Monica Webb Hooper, Benny Weksler, C. Will Whitlock, Douglas E. Wood, Jennifer Burns, and Jillian Scavone

Cigarette smoking has been implicated in causing many cancers and cancer deaths. There is mounting evidence indicating that smoking negatively impacts cancer treatment efficacy and overall survival. The NCCN Guidelines for Smoking Cessation have been created to emphasize the importance of smoking cessation and establish an evidence-based standard of care in all patients with cancer. These guidelines provide recommendations to address smoking in patients and outlines behavioral and pharmacologic interventions for smoking cessation throughout the continuum of oncology care.

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Smoking Cessation, Version 3.2022, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology

Peter G. Shields, Laura Bierut, Douglas Arenberg, David Balis, Paul M. Cinciripini, James Davis, Donna Edmondson, Joy Feliciano, Brian Hitsman, Karen S. Hudmon, Michael T. Jaklitsch, Frank T. Leone, Pamela Ling, Danielle E. McCarthy, Michael K. Ong, Elyse R. Park, Judith Prochaska, Argelia J. Sandoval, Christine E. Sheffer, Sharon Spencer, Jamie L. Studts, Tawee Tanvetyanon, Hilary A. Tindle, Elisa Tong, Matthew Triplette, James Urbanic, Gregory Videtic, David Warner, C. Will Whitlock, Beth McCullough, and Susan Darlow

Although the harmful effects of smoking after a cancer diagnosis have been clearly demonstrated, many patients continue to smoke cigarettes during treatment and beyond. The NCCN Guidelines for Smoking Cessation emphasize the importance of smoking cessation in all patients with cancer and seek to establish evidence-based recommendations tailored to the unique needs and concerns of patients with cancer. The recommendations contained herein describe interventions for cessation of all combustible tobacco products (eg, cigarettes, cigars, hookah), including smokeless tobacco products. However, recommendations are based on studies of cigarette smoking. The NCCN Smoking Cessation Panel recommends that treatment plans for all patients with cancer who smoke include the following 3 tenets that should be done concurrently: (1) evidence-based motivational strategies and behavior therapy (counseling), which can be brief; (2) evidence-based pharmacotherapy; and (3) close follow-up with retreatment as needed.