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Smoking Cessation - Patricia Fitzpatrick

Patricia Fitzpatrick 

Patricia Fitzpatrick

Name: Prof. Patricia Fitzpatrick

Job Title: Professor of Epidemiology & Biomedical Statistics, and Head of Subject for Public Health

Organisations: University College Dublin & St Vincent's University Hospital

Project Title: Smoking cessation for cancer patients in Ireland: a scoping and feasibility initiative.

Research Outline

This research is funded by the Irish Cancer Society (ICS). What cancer patients may not realise is that continuing smoking after being diagnosed with cancer increases the chance of the cancer returning as well as a new cancer starting. Research has shown that there is an increased chance that cancer treatments will not be as good if a patient continues to smoke, and that there may be more side effects and complications from treatment.

Studies also show that people who stop smoking after a diagnosis of cancer can live longer and have a better quality of life than people who continue to smoke. However, we know from research in other countries that some cancer patients may not use supports to stop smoking or may not be provided with enough information. 

In Ireland, we know that the situation is similar. We know this because health professionals working in cancer care tell us, rather than from studies including patients who have cancer and smoke. It is important that we conduct research in this area in Ireland in order to increase the chance that the hospital and community-based resources to help people with cancer to quit smoking are used in a better way. 

The research team in this study, working with a group of people with cancer, health professionals and leaders in cancer care, will seek answers to a few important questions in relation to smoking cessation, for patients with cancer. 

As part of this research, we will conduct interviews with patients with cervical, breast or lung cancer, and also patients attending oncology or radiotherapy, who smoke or are recently ex-smokers.  This research aims to find out the things that most successfully support uptake of smoking cessation services, what the challenges are and to identify why there is low uptake of supports for quitting smoking among some cancer patients.