Since counseling for quitting smoking is already mandated for lung cancer screening encounters, radiology is a good setting for this preventive health effort, presenter Grayson Baird, PhD, of Lifespan Hospital System and Brown University, both in Providence, RI, and colleagues noted.
"The community radiology setting provides an excellent opportunity to engage smokers about smoking cessation by directing them to behavioral medicine colleagues who can design and oversee tailored smoking cessation efforts," the group wrote in its study abstract.
Baird's team assessed smoking attitudes among current smokers undergoing lung cancer screening to explore how best to reach out to them regarding quitting. They conducted a study that included 1,472 current smokers presenting for annual low-dose CT lung cancer screening between April 2019 and May 2020.
Of these, the majority (86.6%) of individuals smoked cigarettes daily, and 91.4% were at least somewhat inclined to quit smoking (74.1% reported they were seriously thinking of quitting within the next six months). Of note, most patients said they wanted to smoke less regardless of the result of their lung cancer screening exam.
Radiology has a key role to play in this particular area of public health, according to Baird and colleagues.
"The number of smokers who undergo lung screening is expected to increase due to expanded guidelines adopted in 2021," they wrote. "Cessation interventions tailored to this population and setting should be developed as patients are interested in quitting and report planning to reduce how much they smoke regardless of their lung cancer screening result."