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Improved patient outcome with smoking cessation: when is it too late?

Authors Wu J, Sin DD

Published 2 May 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 259—267


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jane Wu1, Don D Sin1,2
1Department of Medicine (Division of Respirology), The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 2UBC James Hogg Research Laboratory, Providence Heart and Lung Institute, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Abstract: Smoking is the leading modifiable risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and lung cancer. Smoking cessation is the only proven way of modifying the natural course of COPD. It is also the most effective way of reducing the risk for myocardial infarction and lung cancer. However, the full benefits of tobacco treatment may not be realized until many years of abstinence. All patients with COPD, regardless of severity, appear to benefit from tobacco treatment. Similarly, patients with recent CVD events also benefit from tobacco treatment. The risk of total mortality and rate of recurrence of lung cancer is substantially lower in smokers who manage to quit smoking following the diagnosis of early stage lung cancer or small cell lung cancer. Together, these data suggest that tobacco treatment is effective both as a primary and a secondary intervention in reducing total morbidity and mortality related to COPD, CVD, and lung cancer. In this paper, we summarize the evidence for tobacco treatment and the methods by which smoking cessation can be promoted in smokers with lung disease.

Keywords: COPD, lung cancer, tobacco treatment, smoking cessation

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