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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA



Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM
13-66

Peculiarities in Smoking Patterns among Cancer Patients in the Russian Federation

Somasundaram SUBRAMANIAN, MD1, Robert SCHNOLL, PhD2, Mikhail DAVYDOV, MD, PhD, DSc3, Lev DEMIDOV, MD, PhD, DSc4, Paul ENGSTROM, MD5, Sophia MICHAELSON, MBA6, Irina SHUBINA, PhD7, Irina VYSOTSKAYA, MD, PhD, DSc8, Boris POLYAKOV, MD, PhD8, Eugenie KOVALEVSKIY, MD, PhD8, and Sergei MALAYEV, MD, PhD8. (1) Head & Neck Surgery, N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, 24, Kashirskoye Shosse, Moscow, 115478, Russia, (2) Division of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 510 Township Line Road, 1st Floor, Cheltenham, Philadelphia, PA 19012, (3) Thoroco-abdominal Surgery, N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, 24, Kashirskoye Shosse, Moscow, 115478, Russia, (4) Dept.of Biotherapy, N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, 24 Kashirskoye shosse, Moscow, 115478, Russia, (5) Division of Popullation Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111-249, (6) American Russian Cancer Alliance, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111-24, (7) Laboratory of Cell Immunity, N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, Research Institute of Experimental Diagnostics and Treatment of Tumors, 24, Kashirskoye Shosse, Moscow, 115478, Russia, (8) Department of Oncology, I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, 24, Kashirskoye Shosse, Moscow, 115478, Russia

Objective: To analyze patterns of smoking habits among cancer patients in Russia and to enable them to quit.

Methods: We counseled 400 cancer patients (100 each of head & neck cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer) and 75 oncologists for their smoking habits.

Results: Patient tobacco use in Russian patients is slightly higher than in US. (42% Vs 30%). Nicotine addiction appears to be lower than in US. Patients are less motivated to quit compared to US patients (50% Vs 90%). lung cancer and colorectal cancer patients have the highest proportion of smokers. Colorectal cancer patients have low risk perceptions and low knowledge about negative effects of tobacco. Discussion: It has to be noted that adult population is almost 100% literate and is very difficult to make them give-up smoking. Most of them show low risk perceptions or skeptical regarding smoking cessation and say that “If you don't drink or smoke you'll die as a healthy man”. Being the fourth largest tobacco consuming nation, we very much hope that by the time this abstract is published, Russian Federation will ratify the FCTC. Conclusions: Resources devoted to tobacco control are negligible when compared to that of anti AIDS/HIV campaigns in Russia. There is lack of initiative amongst doctors to fight against tobacco evil and many doctors including oncologists are smokers. So, there is an acute need for extensive anti-tobacco programs in Russia which can be achieved only by building capacity through NGOs with the full support of the state.