Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2016; 37(05): 649-658
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1592115
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Tobacco Control and Tobacco Cessation in Lung Cancer—Too Little, Too Late?

Emily Stone
1   Department of Thoracic Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital and Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Sydney, Australia
Anil Vachani
2   Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 October 2016 (online)


The lung cancer epidemic of the twentieth century grew out of increasing tobacco consumption in the first half of that century. Tobacco control policies have been instituted in many high-income countries since the mid-1960s. Since then smoking rates have declined in these countries, particularly in men where lung cancer rates have stabilized. Tobacco control measures are not strong enough in many countries around the world, particularly low and middle income countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. In these countries, smoking rates and lung cancer rates remain high. Tobacco cessation is more successful in countries with stronger tobacco control and confers quality of life and survival benefits in smokers including lung cancer patients. A significant degree of stigma surrounds the diagnosis of lung cancer which is often considered “self-inflicted” even though the tobacco industry promotes smoking uptake and maintenance. Sustained, effective tobacco control and cessation may improve lung cancer outcomes and are key considerations in modern care of lung cancer patients.

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