Does smoking after a diagnosis of lung cancer matter?

Impact of quitting on 1 year survival

In a UK multicentre trial, patients who had been newly diagnosed with lung cancer were followed for up to 12 months. Self-reported smoking status was verifed by serial exhaled carbon monoxide levels. All patients were offered smoking cessation and standard treatments according to best practice.

1 year mortality data for the first 822 patients was analysed. A log rank test confirmed a significant difference in survival with quitting smoking at diagnosis resulting in improved 1 year survival.

This is the first prospective study to show people who quit smoking within 3 months of lung cancer diagnosis have increased survival compared to those who continue to smoke. Further analysis regarding effects of smoking status on survival according to lung cancer staging, histology as well as any effect on treatment complications and quality of life is ongoing.

This article was published in the European Respiratory Journal, September 2015.

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