“Are We Gonna Talk About It or Not?” Thoracic Oncology Provider Perspectives on Smoking Cessation

Ankitha Radakrishnan, Julia M. Coughlin, David D. Odell, Julie K. Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Tobacco use is the greatest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Preventive Task Force, and major professional societies that all health-care providers provide smoking-cessation counseling, smoking-cessation interventions are not consistently delivered in clinical practice. We sought to identify important barriers and facilitators to the utilization of smoking-cessation interventions in a thoracic oncology program. Materials and methods: We conducted 14 semistructured interviews with providers including thoracic surgeons (n = 3), interventional pulmonologists (n = 1), medical oncologists (n = 3), radiation oncologists (n = 2), and nurses (n = 5). Interviewees were asked about prior and current smoking-cessation efforts, their perspectives on barriers to successful smoking cessation, and opportunities for improvement. Responses were analyzed inductively to identify common themes. Results: All interviewees report discussing smoking cessation with their patients and realize the importance of a smoking-cessation counseling; however, smoking-cessation interventions are inconsistent and often lacking. Providers emphasized five domains that impact their delivery of smoking-cessation interventions: patient willingness and motivation to quit, clinical engagement and follow-up, documentation of smoking history, provider education in smoking cessation, and the availability of additional smoking-cessation resources. Conclusions: Providers recognize the need for more efficient and consistent smoking-cessation interventions. Therefore, the development of interventions that address this need would not only be easily taught to providers and delivered to patients but also be welcomed into clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-429
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Barriers
  • Implementation science
  • Qualitative research
  • Smoking cessation
  • Thoracic oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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