Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Oncology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 145617, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/145617
Clinical Study

The Gap between Tobacco Treatment Guidelines, Health Service Organization, and Clinical Practice in Comprehensive Cancer Centres

1Patient Information Services, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy
2Tobacco Control Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy
3Psychology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy
4Società Italiana di Medicina Generale, 50142 Florence, Italy
5Scientific Direction, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy
6Tobacco Control Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy

Received 15 December 2010; Revised 21 March 2011; Accepted 13 May 2011

Academic Editor: Sushant Kachhap

Copyright © 2011 R. Mazza et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Smoking cessation is necessary to reach a higher quality of life, and, for a cancer patient, it represents an important step in improving the outcome of both prognosis and therapy. Being a cancer patient addicted to nicotine may be a critical situation. We conducted a survey to monitor how many comprehensive cancer centres in Italy have an outpatient smoker clinic and which kinds of resources are available. We also inquired about inpatient services offering psychological and pharmacological support for smoking cessation, reduction, or care of acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms. What we have witnessed is a significant gap between guidelines and services. Oncologists and cancer nurses are overscheduled, with insufficient time to engage in discussion on a problem that they do not consider directly related to cancer treatment. Furthermore, smoking habits and limited training in tobacco dependence and treatment act as an important barrier and lead to the undervaluation of smokers' needs.