Practice Innovations

Tobacco Dependence Treatment: Examining Cessation Effectiveness in Oncology Settings

Patricia Mallaber

Chunkit Fung

Myla Strawderman

Rhonda Knapp-Clevenger

Geoffrey C. Williams

tobacco, smoking cessation, oncology, cancer survivors, cancer treatment
CJON 2021, 25(4), 479-482. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.479-482

The Wilmot Cancer Institute launched the Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program in 2015. Formal program evaluation consisted of 324 patients who presented for at least one visit to assess quit rates. The secondary aim was to ascertain the effectiveness of guideline recommendations that four or more visits would be beneficial in an outpatient oncology tobacco treatment program to promote success in smoking cessation. The first 32 months of program data revealed that there were significantly improved quit rates for those who were seen for four or more visits compared to those seen for three or fewer visits.


  • A significant increase in tobacco abstinence at 6 and 12 months was noted in patients who took part in the Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program four or more times. 
  • This pilot suggests that national guideline recommendations of four or more visits can be applied with success in an oncology outpatient tobacco cessation program.
  • Patients and referring staff must be educated that quit rates are significantly improved when patients present for at least four visits.
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