“It’s the oncology nurse who might be the only cheerleader this person has to keep them motivated moving forward. We need to make sure our patients’ motivation and competence stay high so that they can stay on this journey of quitting,” ONS member Maureen O’Brien, MS, RN, PMHCNS, NCTTP, a certified tobacco treatment specialist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, told Jaime Weimer, MSN, RN, AGNCS-BC, AOCNS®, oncology clinical specialist at ONS, during a discussion about the benefits of smoking cessation for patients with cancer and how oncology nurses can encourage reduction or quit attempts and support their patients through the process. You can earn free NCPD contact hours after listening to this episode and completing the evaluation linked below.
Music Credit: “Fireflies and Stardust” by Kevin MacLeod
Licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0
Earn 1.0 contact hour of nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) by listening to the full recording and completing an evaluation at myoutcomes.ons.org by February 17, 2025. The planners and faculty for this episode have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies to disclose. ONS is accredited as a provider of NCPD by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
Learning outcome: The learner will report an increase in knowledge related to smoking treatment of people with cancer.
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Highlights From Today’s Episode
“For every person who dies from smoking, at least 30 people will live with a serious smoking-related illness. Smoking causes cancer; heart disease; strokes; lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which include emphysema and chronic bronchitis; and diabetes. 87% of all lung cancers are directly linked to smoking. . . . One out of every three cancer deaths are directly related to smoking.” Timestamp (TS) 11:50
“When and if a patient continues to smoke with a cancer diagnosis, it’s because there’s a high nicotine dependence. They’re smoking to manage their withdrawal symptoms. The biggest withdrawal symptoms are anxiety and depression. And one might say that just being diagnosed with a cancer diagnosis is very anxiety-provoking. . . . They get very, very anxious, and the nicotine receptors in the brain will actually tell them to have a cigarette.” TS 15:58
“One of the byproducts of tobacco is carbon monoxide, and that is retained in the lungs. . . . And in eight hours, we can start to reverse that. In 24 hours, the risk of a heart attack decreases if you stop smoking. In about two weeks to three months after stopping smoking, your circulation starts to improve and your lung function increases.” TS 27:43
“As an oncology nurse, I think we need to start really focusing on some of the positive reasons why patients need to stop smoking in any prognosis that they have across the board. I think people respond to positive feedback better than negative feedback. That’s why the benefits of smoking cessation for patients with cancer are so important to talk about.” TS 29:35
“It’s the oncology nurse who might be the only cheerleader this person has to keep them motivated moving forward, and that’s what we need to do. We need to make sure our patients’ motivation and competence stay high so that they can continue on this journey of quitting.” TS 31:50