Quitting Tobacco after a Cancer Diagnosis
It is very important for all cancer patients to quit tobacco products. There are many health benefits to quitting tobacco after a cancer diagnosis. Whether you are a long-term cancer survivor or newly diagnosed, quitting all tobacco products can improve your treatment outcome. You deserve the best care possible and we will help support you through the process of quitting.
Get the most out of your cancer treatmentWe highly encourage you to quit smoking. This will give your cancer treatment the best possible outcome. Since Moffitt is a smoke-free facility, now is a great time to quit smoking.
Research shows that quitting smoking after cancer diagnosis has been associated with multiple benefits:
- Fewer and less serious side effects from chemotherapy and radiation.
- Less infection and faster wound healing after surgery.
- Increased chance of survival.
- Reduced risk of developing second primary tumors.
- Improved quality of life. Being smoke free means a better response to treatment. We know it is not easy, but to have the best possible outcomes, we urge you to quit tobacco as soon as possible!
Quit smoking before surgery
- The longer you are quit the better.
- Even being smoke-free 24 hours before surgery can lower your risk of surgery complications.
- Do not use tobacco products the day of surgery. It only takes a few seconds for cigarette smoke to fill your lungs and 24 hours for your body to begin to get rid of the effects!
- Your body will recover from surgery faster.
- There is a lower risk of infection after surgery, including pneumonia and respiratory failure.
- Surgical wounds heal faster and with less risk of infection.
What about E-cigarettes?
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems or e-cigarettes are not FDA-approved devices for smoking cessation. We recommend you use an FDA-approved quit smoking aid such as the nicotine patch.
We recognize that some people have switched to e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking. Based on available information, using e-cigarettes may be less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. We discourage dual use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes.
If you use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, the goal should be to switch completely over to e-cigarettes. Ideally, it would be best to eventually quit e-cigarettes as well, similar to how you would use an FDA-approved quit smoking aid.
Moffitt recommends quit smoking medication
Quit smoking medication is designed to make you more comfortable and eventually successful in quitting tobacco!
1. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and other medications such as Chantix® and Zyban®, are FDA approved and are recommended for cancer patients. They can help you quit tobacco safely, so you do not have severe withdrawal symptoms. These medications are highly recommended to help you through this process of quitting.
2. Some people quit without any medication but using medication will help you with withdrawal symptoms and increase the likelihood that you stay quit.
3. The medication is designed to be used for a limited amount of time, just long enough to help you quit. There is no risk to getting addicted to smoking cessation medication.
The Tobacco Treatment Program at Moffitt can help you find the medication that will best meet your needs. We will work with you to find free or low cost options. We recommend all patients take advantage of our free Tobacco Treatment Program.
What if I have already tried to quit?
Congratulations, you know something about quitting. Trying is a good thing. Tobacco relapse and brief slips are common and can be managed. They are not failures, just a learning process. We can provide guidance and support to encourage continued tobacco cessation attempts. It may take several attempts to quit.
What if I live with other tobacco users?
The Moffitt Tobacco Treatment Program can offer support to you and your loved ones. We encourage tobacco cessation among all members of your household for your benefit. If all household members who use tobacco products participate together in quitting, you are more likely to be successful quitting.
Moffitt’s Tobacco Treatment Program
Moffitt’s Tobacco Treatment Program is here for you. Quitting smoking is not easy. In addition, smokers with cancer often have problems with depression, anxiety, and stress. This can make it more difficult for you to quit smoking or to start smoking again if you have tried to quit. Remember, you learned to smoke, and it took practice. It takes practice to quit. The Tobacco Treatment Program will work with you to find healthy ways to cope. We are here for you. Moffitt’s Tobacco Treatment Program can be reached at email@example.com or please call (813) 745-8811.
Other Support Options and Resources
Tobacco Free Florida at tobaccofreeflorida.com. This service is free for anyone in Florida and is recommended by Moffitt Cancer Center. Your nurse can help connect you.
- Group quit: classes are scheduled at Moffitt and throughout Florida
- Online quit: tobaccofreeflorida.com
o Phone quit: 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW)
o All services come with some free nicotine replacement
o Use one or all services
Want to stay quit? Visit smokefree.gov/free-resources and review the Forever Free™ books. These helpful books are designed to help you stay quit. The Forever Free™ books, your quit smoking medication, and a good plan can help you stay quit, or if needed, get you back on track.
By quitting tobacco products, you have increased your chance for successful cancer treatment.