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Psychooncology. 2015 Oct;24(10):1258-1264. doi: 10.1002/pon.3893. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Prevalence and correlates of current smoking among medical oncology outpatients.

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Health Behaviour Research Group, Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.
Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton, New South Wales, Australia.
Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW, Kings Cross, New South Wales, Australia.



Continued smoking following a cancer diagnosis has adverse impacts on cancer treatment and puts individuals at risk of secondary cancers. Data on the prevalence and correlates of smoking among cancer patients are critical for successfully targeting smoking cessation interventions.


To explore among a sample of medical oncology outpatients (a) the prevalence of self-reported current smoking and (b) the demographic and psychosocial factors associated with self-reported smoking.


A heterogeneous sample of cancer patients aged 18 years or over was recruited from 1 of 11 medical oncology treatment centres across Australia. Patients completed a survey assessing the following: smoking status; socio-demographic, disease and treatment characteristics; time since diagnosis; anxiety; and depression. Factors associated with self-reported smoking were examined using a univariate and multivariate mixed-effects logistic regression.


A total of 1379 patients returned surveys and 1338 were included in the analysis. The prevalence of current smoking was 10.9% (n = 146). After adjusting for treatment centre, patients aged 65 years and older and those without health concession cards were significantly less likely to smoke. Patients diagnosed with lung cancer and those without private health insurance were more likely to smoke.


A minority of cancer patients reported continued smoking at an average time of 13 months post-diagnosis. Patients, who are younger, have been diagnosed with lung cancer and have lower socioeconomic status are at-risk groups and represent important targets for smoking cessation advice and intervention. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


cancer; cessation; prevalence; smoking; treatment


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