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Commit yourself to quitting tobacco

image of woman quitting tobacco

The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect, set goals and plan resolutions. At Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital's Lung Cancer Screening Program, our resolution is to help you quit tobacco and to participate in lung cancer screening, if you qualify.

Good resolutions require specific goals that are documented and are shared with trusted friends, family, or a practitioner for accountability. Quitting tobacco is especially challenging because of addictiveness of nicotine. To be successful, it is important to understand that it is a journey and it’s normal to have setbacks along the way. 

The American Cancer Society suggests that it takes 8 to 10 quit attempts before quitting permanently. Despite perceived failures, there are health benefits from every attempt to quit. Joining a support group like Brigham and Women’s Smoking Cessation Program can also be valuable.

Quitting often requires the help of a doctor to cope with cravings. You and your doctor can determine the best ways to help you quit smoking but remember: you don’t need to have quit smoking to start screening. Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scan is a powerful tool to diagnose lung cancer in individuals who are at high risk at an early stage.

The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends annual lung cancer screening CT scans for smokers and former smokers who:

  • have smoked within the preceding 15 years
  • are between the ages of 55 and 80 years
  • have smoked an average of 20 cigarettes every day for 30 years.

The requirement of shared decision making for enrollment can be fulfilled by the ordering physician or by a consultation request to The Lung Center. The CT scan is performed in less than one minute, without contrast and without changing into a hospital gown. For high risk individuals, lung cancer screening is usually covered by Medicare and by most healthcare plans, including AllWays Health Partners.

For information about Brigham and Women’s Smoking Cessation Program call 617-278-0578 or email bwhquitsmoking@partners.org.

For information about lung cancer screening eligibility, or if you would like to refer a patient, contact Sabrina Klein, Project Manager, at 617-983-4586 or BWFHLCS@Partners.org.

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