Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Has the National Fall in Smoking Rates in Ireland Been Replicated in Cancer Patients? A 5-Year Report.


Smoking among cancer patients leads to poorer outcomes, yet many patients continue smoking. As part of a feasibility study of smoking cessation for cancer patients in Ireland, smoking rates were reviewed. Hospital Inpatient Enquiry (HIPE) data on the smoking status of discharges with a cancer diagnosis (overall, breast, lung, cervical and head and neck cancer) were used (2014-2018). During 2014-2017, current smoking increased for overall (10.5-11.7%) and lung cancer (24.7-27.2%), then decreased to 11.4% and 24.1%, respectively, in 2018. Current smoking increased for cervical during 2014-2018 (11-19.8%) and initially (2014-2016) for head and neck (3-12.7%) cancer, decreasing to 7.6% in 2018; breast cancer was stable at 6 ± 0.6%. These rates are lower than the Irish (23-20%) and European (29% (average)) general population. During 2014-2017, past smoking increased among overall (15.2-21%) and specific cancers, which was lower than the Irish general population (23-28%). Current smoking was highest among 50-59-year-olds (14-16%), which contrasts with the Irish general population (24-35 years at 32-28%). HIPE data are subject to potential duplicate episodes of care and under-documentation of smoking. However, trend analysis is useful, as these limitations should be stable. Rates remain high; therefore, robust documentation and smoking cessation referrals for cancer patients are important.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View