This position statement is endorsed by ONS and was republished with permission from the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC).
Date Drafted: May 2014
Date Approved by the Board of Directors: July 2014
Date Revised: May 2022
Date Revision Approved by the Board of Directors: August 2022
Tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) control activities are integral to health care.
Prevention of tobacco-related disease is a major global health issue. More than eight million tobacco-related deaths occur globally every yeari , the majority of these are in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs), where over 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users livei,ii. Despite advances achieved through the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), iiii tobacco and other nicotine products continue to be a major threat to global health and a leading cause of preventable death, disease and sufferingi . In addition, the global financial cost is significant, and in 2019 the direct and indirect economic costs of tobacco use and exposure worldwide, was estimated at $US 1.85 trillion.iv-v
Accelerating efforts to support tobacco users to quit and prevent youth from starting tobacco use is a global imperative. Nine out of ten smokers start before the age of 25 years, and across the globe, approximately 155 million people are smokersiii. Entry into the global market of several novel tobacco and nicotine delivery products, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), has created an additional need for vigilance to ensure that a new generation of young people does not become addicted to nicotinevi. While in some controlled instances these products have been associated with cessation of cigarette usevii, their safety and toxicity are not yet well established, and their usefulness as a tobacco use cessation tool on a population level is yet to be demonstrated. The WHO has advised consumers to not use these products until additional safety and toxicological data are available.vi
Promotion of tobacco control to prevent disease, disability and death is a global public health priority. Tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke are known human carcinogens.vii Over a dozen different types of cancers are causally related to tobacco use, in addition to other chronic and acute illnesses vii,viii. Furthermore, continued use of tobacco after a cancer diagnosis increases treatment toxicity, increases risk of secondary primary cancers, negatively impacts quality of life and survival outcomesix. Nurses in all areas of practice have a critical role to play across all major tobacco control opportunities, including, preventing uptake, helping smokers quit, preventing exposure to secondhand smoke, and contributing to local, national, regional and international advocacy and policy campaignsx. Nurses worldwide have been integral to the implementation of these measures, but further efforts are needed.
More than a dozen different types of cancers are causally related to tobacco useviii,xi. Nurses are ideally placed to deliver evidence-based interventions to prevent tobacco use and nicotine dependence among younger populations, and to support quitting among existing tobacco and nicotine-dependent adults.x Despite claims that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking, there is growing evidence that ecigarettes can cause health harms, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and cancervi. The tobacco industry has marketed these products as being less harsh, with less irritating smokexii, with the intent to attract new smokersvi,xi. Nurses are ideally placed to educate the public about the harm of these products, the options for quitting, and support their decision to quitxiii.
Quitting smoking after a cancer diagnosis improves prognosis and treatment outcomes and decreases risk of a secondary cancer and deathix. Nurses have a responsibility to ensure that cessation is integral to cancer treatment. Nursing involvement in community action, helping patients quit, promoting an environment free of tobacco smoke, denormalising tobacco and ENDS use and supporting effective tobacco and nicotine control policies, is essential to optimising global public health.xiii,xiv
In the area of tobacco control and tobacco dependence nurses can contribute significantly to developing interventions for all persons who smokexii,xiii, including people with a cancer diagnosis, but more effort and support is needed to enhance the science in this areaxv.
The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) believes that prevention of tobacco and ENDS use, prevention of exposure to secondhand smoke, assessment of nicotine dependency and support for smoking cessation are valuable approaches for nurses to decrease tobacco-related health problems. Furthermore, ISNCC is committed to mobilising and maximising the potential that nurses have in reducing adult and youth tobacco and ENDs use, promoting cessation, actively protecting all people against exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, and helping to increase access to tobacco and nicotine use prevention and cessation services. In addition to the prevention of tobacco use to reduce cancer risk, intervention is needed to support the cessation efforts of patients with cancer and cancer survivors who are at increased risk for side effects of treatment, a second tobacco-related cancer, increased morbidity, decreased survival, and diminished quality of life. Nurses who support smoking cessation in patients thereby support patient families by potentially reducing the number of future familial smokers and potentially, contribute to the reduction of financial toxicity caused by redirection of income to tobacco or ENDs.
Health Care Policy and Consumer Advocacy
(i) https://www.healthdata.org/news-release/lancet-lancet-public-health-lat…- million-deaths-smoking, accessed Dec 2021.
(ii) WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2019. Geneva. World Health Organization, 2019. Licence CC BYNC-SA 3.1IGO
(iii) 2021 global progress report on implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
(iv) Economic Research Informing Tobacco Control Policy, 2019. Economic Costs of tobacco use. https://tobacconomics.org/files/research/523/UIC_Economic-Costs-of-Toba…. Accessed Jan 2022
(vi) World Health Organization. Questions and answers on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Statement. 9 July 2013. Available at http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic_cigarett…
(vii) Hartmann-Boyce J, McRobbie H, Lindson N, Bullen C, Begh R, Theodoulou A, Notley C, Rigotti NA, Turner T, Butler AR,Fanshawe TR, Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020 [cited 2021 Apr 29];Issue 10. Art. No.: CD010216 Available from: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub4….
(viii) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Available at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-ofprogress/index…
(ix) Jassem J. (2019). Tobacco smoking after diagnosis of cancer: clinical aspects. Translational lung cancer research, 8(Suppl 1), S50–S58. https://doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2019.04.01
(x) World Health Organization. State of the World’s Nursing, September 2020. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240007017
(xi) National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Public health consequences of e-cigarettes. Washington DC: The National Academies Press; 2018 [cited 2021 Apr 29] Available from: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24952/public-health-consequences-of-e-cigar…
(xii) Anderson SJ. Marketing of menthol cigarettes and consumer perceptions: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tob Control 2011 May;20 Suppl 2:ii20-8 Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21504928
(xiii) Sarna L, Bialous SA; Tobacco Control Sub-group and Health Behavior Expert Panel, American Academy of Nursing. Nursing scholarship and leadership in tobacco control. Nurs Outlook. 2013 May-Jun;61(3):181-2.
(xiv) Rice, V. H., Heath, L., Livingstone-Banks, J., & Hartmann-Boyce, J. (2017). Nursing interventions for smoking cessation. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 12(12), CD001188. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD001188.pub5
(xv) Hall S, Vogt F, and Marteau TM. A short report: Survey of practice nurses' attitudes towards giving smoking cessation advice. Family Practice, 2005; 22(6):614–6. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16055470