Tobacco Cessation and Control Resources

50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report

The 50th anniversary of the original Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was published this January. Since the release of the 1964 report, remarkable progress has been made in diminishing the impact of tobacco use in the United States, including a reduction in tobacco-related cancer incidence and mortality. The 50th Anniversary Report summarizes the adverse effects of tobacco on treatment outcomes for smokers diagnosed with cancer. This will be the first time the Report has presented data not just on the causal effects of tobacco on cancer, but on the actual clinical outcomes. ASCO will be celebrating this milestone throughout the upcoming year. 

ASCO has outlined a far-reaching agenda aimed at promoting worldwide reduction and ultimate elimination of tobacco-related disease through discouraging the use of tobacco products and exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS). More than two-thirds of the 46 million current smokers in the United States would like to quit. There is strong evidence that advice from a health care professional can more than double smoking cessation success rates, but smokers are often reluctant to ask their physician for assistance. ASCO is committed to educating its members and providing resources to help patients quit using tobacco, supporting policy change aimed at decreasing tobacco product use, and increasing research into cessation and control interventions.

In a 2013 Tobacco Cessation Policy Statement Update, ASCO encourages providers lead by example by refraining from tobacco use and to treat tobacco dependence as aggressively and compassionately as they treat cancer. The Policy Statement also includes recommendations aimed at strengthening provider education, supporting coverage of all FDA-approved tobacco cessation services, increasing global tobacco control,and supporting legislative and regulatory efforts to curb tobacco use and SHS, among others.

It is particularly important for patients to quit using tobacco even after a cancer diagnosis. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests tobacco use by patients with cancer can complicate a wide variety of treatments, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. . Oncology providers have a responsibility to help their patients with tobacco cessation strategies in order to reduce complications and improve patient outcomes.

In a recent ASCO member survey, 85% of oncology providers believe tobacco cessation should be a standard part of cancer care; however they also cite lack of training as a main barrier to doing so. To help providers integrate tobacco cessation into daily practice, ASCO has developed a new set of resources to help oncology providers integrate tobacco cessation counseling services into practice. The resources include a provider guide and a patient guide, detailing immediate steps patients can take to help quit tobacco use. These resources are part of ASCO’s efforts to promote the reduction in tobacco use and ultimate elimination of tobacco caused disease.

Also See:
Tobacco Cessation Resources From Cancer.Net
Order Booklet Bundles From Bookstore
Dr. Nasser Hanna Discusses Integrating Tobacco Cessation into His Practice

Resources for Providers


  • Virtual Meeting: View oral presentations, abstracts, and posters from ASCO meetings dating back to 2009, including tobacco cessation-related sessions


Resources for Patients

ASCO's Policy Efforts Related to Tobacco