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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
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.