In this article the basis of study was to evaluate the perceptions of the effects of continued smoking on quality of life, survival, and fatigue among patients with cancer after a cancer diagnosis and the effects of these perceptions on smoking cessation. Patients with cancer from all disease subsites from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Toronto, Ontario) were surveyed between April 2014 and May 2016 for sociodemographic variables, smoking history, and perceptions of continued smoking on quality of life, survival, and fatigue.

Among 1,121 patients, 277 (23%) were smoking cigarettes up to 1 year before diagnosis, and 54% subsequently quit; 23% had lung cancer, and 27% had head and neck cancers. The majority felt that continued smoking after a cancer diagnosis negatively affected quality of life (83%), survival (86%), and fatigue (82%). Current smokers during the peridiagnosis period were less likely to perceive that continued smoking was harmful when compared with ex-smokers and never-smokers (P < .01). Among current smokers, perceiving that smoking negatively affected quality of life (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.68 [95% CI, 1.26 to 5.72]; P = .011), survival (aOR, 5.00 [95% CI, 2.19 to 11.43]; P < .001), and fatigue (aOR, 3.57 [95% CI, 1.69 to 7.54]; P < .001) were each strongly associated with smoking cessation.

Counseling about the harms of continued smoking in patients with cancer, and in particular among those who have lower risk perceptions, should be considered when developing a smoking cessation program