Researchers Assess Racial Differences in Smoking Behaviors After Screening

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The rates of 6-month continuous abstinence after lung cancer screening did not differ between black smokers and white smokers despite a higher likelihood of 24-hour and 7-day quit attempts by black smokers, a study published in the journal The Oncologist has shown.1

“Among smokers undergoing screening for lung cancer, blacks are more likely than whites to have 24-hour and 7-day quit attempts; however, these attempts did not translate to increased rates of 6-month continuous abstinence among black smokers,” the authors write.

Because there is limited evidence about the impact of lung cancer screening on smoking behaviors among black vs white smokers, researchers sought to examine the racial differences in smoking behaviors after screening.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 6316 white and 497 black smokers included in the National Lung Screening Trial. Patients were current smokers at the time of lung cancer screening who had completed a follow-up survey on 24-hour and 7-day quit attempts, 6-month continuous abstinence, and the use of smoking cessation programs and aids at 12 months following screening.

Results showed that at 12 months after screening, black patients were more likely to report a 24-hour or 7-day quit attempt (P<.0001 and P=.002, respectively); however, researchers found no significant racial differences in 6-month continuous abstinence between the 2 groups.

The study demonstrated that only a positive screening result for lung cancer was significantly predictive of successful 6-month continuous abstinence (OR, 2.3; 95% CI: 1.8-2.9).

“Targeted interventions are needed at the time of lung cancer screening to convert quit attempts to sustained smoking cessation among all smokers,” the investigators conclude.


Kumar P, Gareen IF, Lathan C, et al. Racial differences in tobacco cessation and treatment usage after lung screening: an examination of the National Lung Screening Trial [published online ahead of print December 28, 2015]. Oncologist. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2015-0325.

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