After a cancer diagnosis, many people believe it is too late to quit smoking or using other tobacco products or there is no benefit to quitting. It is never too late to stop using tobacco.

Quitting smoking or use of other tobacco products is always beneficial. A licensed psychologist with Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute Supportive Oncology and Rehabilitation Services can help. 

Most people who smoke and tobacco users want to quit. Although it can be difficult, many are successful, and a variety of treatment options and resources exist to help. It is always possible to quit. 

Schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with a psychologist, by calling 816-932-4576 option 1.

Benefits of quitting

There are many physical and psychological benefits to stopping tobacco use after a cancer diagnosis, including:

  • Longer survival
  • A better chance of successful treatment
  • Fewer and less serious side effects from all types of cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy
  • Faster recovery from treatment
  • Decreased risk of secondary cancers
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Easier breathing
  • More energy
  • Better quality of life

Continuing to use tobacco has the following risks:

  • Shorter survival
  • Less chance of successful treatment
  • More complications from surgery, such as side effects involving the heart and lungs, and a slower recovery
  • More treatment-related side effects from chemotherapy, such as infection, fatigue, heart and lung problems, and weight loss
  • Additional side effects from radiation therapy, including dry mouth, mouth sores, loss of taste, and problems with bones and soft tissues
  • Increased chance of cancer recurrence 
  • Increased risk of other serious illnesses, such as heart and lung diseases or a second cancer

How to quit smoking and using tobacco 

A variety of treatments and resources are available to help people stop using tobacco, including medications and counseling. A person’s chances of successfully quitting are greater if they have a comprehensive plan that includes a quit date, meeting with a psychologist, and developing strategies to deal with triggers or situations that cause them to want to use tobacco.

Tobacco cessation treatment

A Saint Luke’s licensed psychologist offers sessions covering topics such as:

  • Preparing to quit
  • Setting a quit date
  • Managing cravings
  • Learning alternative coping stratgies to manage stress
  • Preventing relapse

Schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with a psychologist, by calling 816-932-4576 option 1.