A new study in the American Cancer Society journal CANCER looked at 2,456 lung cancer patients and 3,063 colorectal patients and discovered that at the time of diagnosis, 38 percent of the lung cancer patients and 15 percent of the colorectal patients were smokers. Five months later, despite a cancer diagnosis, 14 percent of the lung cancer patients and 9 percent of the colorectal patients were still smoking. So….only a little less than half quit! One author of the study hopes this research “will pave the way for more smoking cessation programs and treatment options for patients who are smoking at the time of their diagnosis”. Like they are not available now? Listen, tobacco is extremely addictive. It was purposely created that way and many people got caught up in this habit. Still, there really are no excuses for these cancer patients. The meds are available to all. The bottom line is that some people just don’t want to quit. It is not a “cost” issue because the makers of the cessation products cleverly figured out that the cost of the medication would be what the smoker would pay on cigarettes. For how much it costs for chemo and radiation you have to wonder what kind of money is being spent on patients who are creating their own illness. What if patients had blood tests to detect nicotine during their treatment and had to pay a higher percentage of the bill if it was found to be elevated? I predict that over 95% of these patients would quit smoking. Heartless? Yes. Effective. Very.
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