Author: Deborah K. Mayer & John Carlson

More than 11 million cancer survivors are at risk for new cancers, yet many are receiving inadequate guidance to reduce their risk. This study describes smoking trends among a group of cancer survivors (CaSurvivors) compared with a no cancer (NoCancer) control group.

The Health Information National Trends Survey 2003, 2005, and 2007 cross-sectional surveys were used in this secondary data analysis. Descriptive statistics were produced, and logistic regressions of current smokers were performed on weighted samples using SUDAAN. The sample included 2,060 CaSurvivors; the average age was 63 years; and the majority of respondents were female (67%), White (80.6%), married, or partnered (52.5%), with at least some college education (57%). The mean time since diagnosis was 12 years; 28.7% reported fair or poor health status.

The overall smoking rate was 18.7% for CaSurvivors and 21.7% for the NoCancer group. Education (less than college), age (younger), marital status (widowed or divorced), and health care access (none or partial) were significant personal variables associated with a greater likelihood of being a current smoker. Controlling for these variables, there were no differences between the CaSurvivors and NoCancer groups over time. Women with cervical cancer were still more likely to be smokers (48.9%) than other CaSurvivors (p < .001). Conclusions: CaSurvivors’ current smoking trends were similar to the control group. While most variation was explained by demographic variables, women with cervical cancer, a smoking-related cancer, had the highest prevalence of smoking. Smoking cessation interventions should be targeted to this high-risk group. Auhors: 1. Deborah K. Mayer, Ph.D., R.N., A.O.C.N., F.A.A.N. and 2. John Carlson, M.S. Authors Affiliations 1. School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC