Readiness of Lung Cancer Screening Sites to Deliver Smoking Cessation Treatment: Current Practices, Organizational Priority, and Perceived Barriers

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Lung cancer screening represents an opportunity to deliver smoking cessation advice and assistance to current smokers. However, the current tobacco treatment practices of lung cancer screening sites are unknown. The purpose of this study was to describe organizational priority, current practice patterns, and barriers for delivery of evidence-based tobacco use treatment across lung cancer screening sites within the United States.


Guided by prior work examining readiness of health care providers to deliver tobacco use treatment, we administered a brief online survey to a purposive national sample of site coordinators from 93 lung cancer screening sites.


Organizational priority for promoting smoking cessation among lung cancer screening enrollees was high. Most sites reported that, at the initial visit, patients are routinely asked about their current smoking status (98.9%) and current smokers are advised to quit (91.4%). Fewer (57%) sites provide cessation counseling or refer smokers to a quitline (60.2%) and even fewer (36.6%) routinely recommend cessation medications. During follow-up screening visits, respondents reported less attention to smoking cessation advice and treatment. Lack of patient motivation and resistance to cessation advice and treatment, lack of staff training, and lack of reimbursement were the most frequently cited barriers for delivering smoking cessation treatment.


Although encouraging that lung cancer screening sites endorsed the importance of smoking cessation interventions, greater attention to identifying and addressing barriers for tobacco treatment delivery is needed in order to maximize the potential benefit of integrating smoking cessation into lung cancer screening protocols.


This study is the first to describe practice patterns, organizational priority, and barriers for delivery of smoking cessation treatment in a national sample of lung cancer screening sites.

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