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Obstet Gynecol. 1998 May;91(5 Pt 1):719-24.

Promoting smoking cessation among women who seek cervical cancer screening.

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Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Center for Health Studies, Seattle, Washington, USA.



To determine whether 1) women smokers are aware that smoking increases their risk for cervical cancer; 2) awareness of risk factors and its impact on motivation to quit smoking vary by age; and 3) providers are advising smokers to quit smoking during routine gynecologic visits.


Women aged 18 years and older who had a Papanicolaou test in the prior month were identified from a managed care cytology database. Four weeks after receiving their test result, women were called to complete a health behavior survey in which their smoking status, sexual history, knowledge of risk factors for cervical cancer, and motivation to quit smoking were assessed.


Only 49% of the 613 smokers surveyed were aware that smoking increased their risk of cervical cancer. Women aged 34 years and younger were significantly more likely to agree that smoking increased their risk for cervical cancer than women aged 45 years or older (54% versus 40%). Concern that smoking might cause cervical cancer or other cancers was endorsed highly by women as a motivator for cessation, particularly for women smokers aged 18-26 (mean 8.1 and 7.6 on 10-point scales, respectively). About 50% of the women reported that their provider had asked about smoking and had encouraged cessation. Only about 30% of smokers were aware of well-established risk factors for cervical cancer such as the number of lifetime sexual partners and not using a condom.


Routine gynecologic screening visits represent an important and underutilized clinical opportunity to intervene with young women smokers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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