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Quitting or reducing smoking is the most important lifestyle change you can make to help improve your health during and after cancer treatment.
If you are a head and neck cancer or lung cancer patient and are listed as a smoker in your medical record, you will be automatically contacted by No Smoker Left Behind to offer you options to quit or reduce smoking. The program will be expanded to all cancer patients by late 2019.
Once enrolled, you will receive automated calls to connect you to evidence-based treatments.
You will receive a 5-minute interactive voice recorded call from Dr. Andrea King, UChicago Medicine smoking-cessation expert.
In this call, you will:
There is no cost to participate in this program.
On-site at UChicago Medicine (often covered by insurance):
Phone-based and no cost treatment options:
Benefits of quitting smoking after a cancer diagnosis include:
No Smoker Left Behind is supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience.
FACT: It is never too late to quit smoking. People who quit smoking after a cancer diagnosis live longer, have a better chance of successful treatment, have fewer side effects from treatment, recover faster and have a better quality of life. No Smoker Left Behind can help.
FACT: The calming effect you feel when you smoke is actually the relief of nicotine withdrawal, which can begin just 20 minutes after your last cigarette. Using approved medications can help reduce withdrawal symptoms in a safe way. We can help you overcome tobacco addiction and the health benefits of quitting greatly outweigh the temporary discomfort. Former smokers are less stressed than current smokers.
FACT: Smoking is an addiction. While some people are able to quit on their own, most people are more successful when they have the help of clinicians, family and friends. No Smoker Left Behind will connect you with tools to improve your chances of quitting.
FACT: Quitting smoking is hard and often requires several attempts until a person is permanently tobacco-free. Research has proven that counseling and medications improve the odds for the long term. There are several medications that can help you deal with nicotine withdrawal. Ask your health care team for help.
FACT: Quitting smoking is the most important lifestyle change you can make to help you fight cancer. Research has proven that cancer patients and survivors who smoke are at higher risk of cancer coming back, getting a second cancer and death.
Anne Roupas, LCSW, CADC Tobacco Treatment Specialist
Denise Rouse, MS, PA-C