Quitting smoking is a big deal. It’s one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of a multitude of cancers. It’s also a challenge. A tobacco habit can feel like an old friend who has been there for you for years, and that’s not an easy feeling to walk away from.
Because many people find it hard to quit tobacco, they may try vaping — inhaling nicotine vapor generated by a battery-powered e-cigarette — as a stepping-stone to cessation. Some say it has helped them quit. However, there are many red flags and unknowns behind the phenomenon, and proponents of vaping may just be blowing smoke.
Trying To Quit Tobacco Is Something To Be Proud Of
E-cigarettes haven’t been in existence long enough for many long-range health studies to be conducted. And even though there were about 8.1 million adult e-cigarette users in the United States in 2018, there’s still not much known about the long-term health effects, especially when it comes to lung cancer.
What we do know is that the impact of vaping on people with cancer is immediate and significant. Cancer patients who vape are subjecting their lungs to potentially harmful compounds, including nicotine, diacetyl, and benzene. The consequences can include poorer response to cancer treatment, a greater likelihood of relapse, a risk of developing new cancers, and a greater chance of dying earlier than nonsmokers.
What’s a smoker to do, particularly if they are also coping with the stress and anxiety of a cancer diagnosis?
First, you need to know that it is normal to have a hard time quitting. It can take several attempts, and every attempt is a step in the right direction that is worth celebrating. Don’t give up!
Next, seek and receive the extra help and support you need to quit. Select a health care team that believes in you and knows how to make quitting easier and more effective.
At City of Hope, expert cancer care and science-based smoking cessation go hand in hand. We know tobacco cessation is not one-size-fits-all. We understand what you are experiencing as a smoker and a cancer patient, and we are here to help you get through it.
A Better Way: Evidence-based Tobacco Cessation
While we don’t have all the answers about the long-term safety of vaping, one thing is clear: The best thing for your lung health is to quit smoking, period. E-cigarettes are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a method for smoking cessation. Your best chance of success is with a comprehensive smoking cessation program that offers crucial tools and support.
Cancer patients respond better to treatment if they stop smoking, even if they quit after their diagnosis. It’s never too late to be tobacco-free. City of Hope is here to help you at every step along the way.
City of Hope’s smoking cessation program for patients has been awarded a $400,000 “moonshot” grant from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Center Cessation Initiative to expand the program’s work. The program offers City of Hope patients proper cessation medications, individualized counseling, support groups, an action plan for relapses, and more.
If you are a smoker facing a cancer diagnosis, you don’t have to quit by yourself. Ask your doctor about referral to City of Hope’s Tobacco Cessation Program as part of your cancer treatment. We are experts in the science of smoking cessation, and we will partner with you throughout your journey.
City of Hope offers proven, evidence-based strategies to help cancer patients break the tobacco habit for good. You will feel better right away, your chances of successful treatment will improve, and you will be making an essential contribution to your own care. Get started today.
Dan J. Raz, M.D., M.A.S. is a lung cancer surgeon at City of Hope and the co-director of the lung cancer and thoracic oncology program. He oversees the lung cancer screening program at City of Hope Newport Beach.
Discover compassionate, world-class lung cancer care at City of Hope Newport Beach. Call (949) 763-2204 or contact us online to learn more