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Smoking Cessation Interventions After Lung Cancer Screening Guideline Change

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Introduction: Recent guideline changes for lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography recommend smoking cessation interventions be done in parallel with screening. The purpose of this study is to determine the post-guideline rates of smoking cessation interventions among patients eligible and ineligible for lung cancer screening.

Methods: Using electronic health records collected from a large ambulatory care system in northern California between 2010 and 2017, authors identified new patients who were current smokers aged 55–80 years visiting a primary care provider, and grouped patients into lung cancer screening–eligible heavy smokers, screening-ineligible moderate smokers, and screening-ineligible light smokers. Screening-eligible smokers versus screening-ineligible smokers were compared in receipt of smoking cessation interventions before (2010–2013) and after (2014–2017) the guideline change, overall and by intervention type (formal counseling, informal counseling, pharmacotherapy) using hierarchical generalized linear models. Analyses were conducted in 2018–2019.

Results: After the guideline change, the likelihood of receiving any smoking cessation intervention (OR=1.44, 95% CI=1.28, 1.61, p<0.05), informal counseling (OR=1.29, 95% CI=1.15, 1.46, p<0.05), and pharmacotherapy (OR=1.24, 95% CI=1.02, 1.50, p<0.05) during a new patient visit significantly increased, with the increase not varying by level of smoking. For formal counseling, the post-guideline increase was greater for screening-eligible heavy smokers (OR=3.15, 95% CI=1.18, 8.36, p<0.05) and moderate smokers (OR=3.58, 95% CI=1.29, 9.95, p<0.05) relative to light smokers.

Conclusions: Smoking cessation interventions increased after new lung cancer screening guidelines. Given the sizable adverse impacts of smoking on morbidity and mortality, small increases in implementation of smoking cessation interventions could have substantial public health benefits.

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