Smoking behavior among adult childhood cancer survivors: what are we missing?

Taghrid Asfar, Noella Dietz, Kristopher Arheart, Stacey L. Tannenbaum, Laura A. McClure, Lora E Fleming, David J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Childhood cancer survivors are a growing population at increased risk for smoking-related health complications. This study compared smoking prevalence, age at smoking initiation, and time trend of smoking prevalence from 1997 to 2010 between adult survivors of childhood cancer and adults without a cancer history (controls) and identified predictors of smoking among these survivors. Methods: Data were pooled from the 1997–2010 National Health Interview Survey (survivors, n = 1438; controls, n = 383,805). Smoking prevalence by age group was calculated using weighted least square regression analysis and weighted linear regression of prevalence on year for trend analysis. Logistic regression analyses adjusting for sample weights and design effects were performed to identify predictors of smoking among survivors. Results: Compared to controls, survivors were significantly more likely to be younger, female, non-Hispanic White, unemployed, with lower income, and to weigh less and smoke more. Survivors initiated smoking earlier than controls. Smoking prevalence among survivors peaked at age 30 and 40 years old, compared to age 25 years in controls. Smoking prevalence decreased consistently from 1997 to 2010 among controls, with larger significant declines in survivors that were subject to more year-to-year variability. Compared to nonsmoking survivors, those who smoke were significantly more likely to be non-Hispanic White, young, uninsured, poor, to have a high school education or less, and to report drinking alcohol. Conclusion: Smoking in adult survivors of childhood cancer continues as a persistent risk factor across socioeconomic groups. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Targeted and tailored smoking cessation/prevention interventions for these survivors are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Childhood cancer survivors
  • Predictors of current smoking
  • Smoking initiation
  • Smoking prevalence
  • Smoking trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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