CT scans may scare smokers into quitting

Good news if you’re trying to quit smoking. Brock University researchers say they might have found the key to getting you to butt out for good.

Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada after skin cancer, and studies show a large portion of those cancers are caused by smoking.

When it comes to quitting the old adage “seeing is believing” may actually be the truth. Researchers at Brock University found that seeing a bad CT scan may actually scare smokers into kicking the habit.

“If it’s a bad screening result it can lead to a 12% increase in smoking cessation. In other words they quit smoking” says researcher Martin Tammemagi.

Temmemagi and his colleagues used data from the U.S. National Lung Screening trial. They looked at almost 15,000 smokers, 55 to 70 years old who smoked 30 or more packs a year. Even hard core smokers were more apt to quit.

It’s something Dr. Hanna at St. Josephs Health Care in Hamilton sees first hand treating cancer patients.

“Most of them quit on the spot. It’s a dramatic moment for them, you can see them looking at the screen and really trying to digest this experience,”

And Temmemagi says this is a teachable moment.

“It’s an opportune time to introduce smoking cessation programs. Make them into a joint program, it would be more effective.”

He’s calling on the government to introduce a screening program for high-risk individuals, but he says it needs to be done gradually .


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matt says:

Tried quiting a few times. After reading this I’m gunna try again