Free Program Helps Cancer Survivors Quit Smoking
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital counselors help cancer survivors with smoking cessation. Participation in the Cancer Survivor Tobacco Quit Line is free and open to survivors of childhood or adult-onset cancer, regardless of where they received treatment.
(NAPSI)—Cancer survivors who smoke and need help quitting can receive assistance through a tobacco cessation program organized by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Smoking Adds to Health Risks
Despite the known risk of tobacco use, many cancer survivors still smoke. Cancer and its treatments put some survivors at increased risk for second cancers and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The Cancer Survivor Tobacco Quit Line is open to survivors of childhood or adult-onset cancer, regardless of where they received treatment. The free program offers nicotine replacement therapy and professional counseling.
“Currently, we have nearly 600 participants enrolled in the smoking cessation study, and we hope to reach our goal of 800 during the next year,” said Robert Klesges, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Epidemiology and Cancer Control department. “Having the quit line in place to help survivors be conscious about their health and understand the health risks associated with their treatment is yet another example of St. Jude addressing the needs of cancer survivors so they can enjoy a greater quality of life, regardless of where they were treated.”
St. Jude created the Cancer Survivor Tobacco Quit Line through a grant from the National Cancer Institute to address the unique needs of cancer survivors who smoke. The quit line started as a smoking cessation program aimed at childhood cancer survivors, but the program later expanded to include survivors of adult-onset cancer as well.
How It Works
Through the quit line, participants are assigned to one of two interventions: a counselor-initiated group or a self-paced group. The St. Jude counselors hold advanced degrees and have professional experience in public health to assist participants in preparing to quit, setting quit dates and avoiding relapses.
In the counselor-initiated group, St. Jude counselors call participants six times during an eight-week period. Smokers in the self-paced group receive the same intervention but are responsible for phoning the counselors. All participants receive nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches or gum.
Participation in the quit line study is confidential, and survivors may end participation at any time. To qualify, survivors must be 18 years or older, speak English, have telephone access and live in the United States.
How To Sign Up
To enroll, cancer survivors can call (877) 4SJ-QUIT (475-7848) or visit www.stjude.org/breakfree for more information about the tobacco cessation study.