Smokers with a new diagnosis of bladder cancer are significantly more likely to quit compared with smokers in the general population, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Jeffrey C. Bassett, MD, MPH, of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues investigated the impact of a bladder cancer diagnosis on patterns of tobacco use and smoking cessation in a random sample of noninvasive bladder cancer survivors diagnosed in 2006. A total of 344 respondents of 492 eligible participants completed a survey on tobacco use (70% response rate) and were compared by smoking status. To ascertain the impact of cancer diagnosis on tobacco use, respondents who smoked at diagnosis were compared with general population controls from the California Tobacco Survey.

The researchers found that 74% of respondents had a history of cigarette use, and 17% were smokers at the time of diagnosis. Smokers with a new diagnosis of bladder cancer were significantly more likely to quit than smokers in the general population (48% vs. 10%). The reasons most often cited for smoking cessation were bladder cancer diagnosis and advice of the urologist. When a urologist was the source of their understanding, respondents were more likely to endorse smoking as a risk factor for bladder cancer.

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“Given the negative impact that continued smoking has on recurrence, progression, morbidity, and mortality, each diagnosis of bladder cancer in a smoker should be viewed as an opportunity to help them quit their tobacco use for good,” the authors concluded.