Delivering tobacco dependence treatment in lung cancer screening programs serving socioeconomically disadvantaged populations
Smokers with low socioeconomic status (SES) are at a higher risk for developing and dying from lung cancer due to limited access to health care services and higher smoking prevalence. In 2011, the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) found that in patients at high risk for developing lung cancer, lung cancer screening with low-dose helical computed tomography (LDCT) resulted in a 20% reduction in mortality from lung cancer. Current smokers who undergo annual LDCT screening and quit smoking derive the greatest reduction in lung cancer mortality. Thus, providing both LDCT screening and tobacco dependence treatment to current smokers can dramatically reduce smoking-related morbidity and mortality. In this report, we summarize the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) and the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD) guidelines on integrating smoking cessation interventions into lung cancer screening programs. We discuss barriers, potential solutions, and ongoing research efforts on how to implement tobacco treatment within LDCT screening, particularly as it pertains to low SES populations.