Objective: To determine risk factors for continued smoking following a diagnosis of a genitourinary (GU) malignancy. Smoking is a well established risk factor in the development of cancers involving the GU tract. Unfortunately, a large percentage of patients continue to smoke or relapse after cancer diagnosis; by doing so, there is an increased risk of recurrence, poor survival rates, treatment complications, secondary primary cancers, and other chronic smoking related illnesses. Materials and Methods: Two hundred and five patients who presented to a Urologic Oncology clinic at a single tertiary treatment center were given smoking cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy, as well as a questionnaire which was used to identify smoking status, demographics, and behavioral/psychosocial characteristics. Patients were followed for a minimum of 1 year with a median length of follow up for 13 months. Results: 91% of patients enrolled in the study continued smoking at survey completion. After accounting for age, ethnicity, education and cigarettes consumed/day, 5 variables were independently associated with an increased risk of continued smoking: smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day, less than 2 prior quit attempts, anxiety and/or depression, fear of cancer recurrence, and home secondhand smoke exposure. Conclusion: The role of the urologist is imperative for encouraging smoking cessation. While every patient should receive adequate counseling regarding smoking at the time of a GU malignancy diagnosis, identifying patients with the risk factors noted in this study and augmenting smoking cessation efforts may result in stronger efforts to quit and prevention of long-term complications.
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