HealthDay News – Smokers with abnormalities detected in lung cancer screenings are significantly more likely to quit smoking, according to researchers.

“Smoking cessation is statistically significantly associated with screen-detected abnormality,” wrote Martin C. Tammemagi, PhD, of Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada, and colleagues. Their findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To assess the association between lung cancer screening results and smoking cessation, inspectors followed 15,489 smokers who participated in the National Lung Screening trial.

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Compared with patients with a normal lung cancer screen, individuals were more likely to stop smoking if they had one or more of the following results:

  • Major abnormality that was not suspicious for lung cancer on the previous year’s screen (odds ratio, 0.811; 95% CI: 0.722 to 0.912;

    P< 0.001)

  • A major abnormality that was suspicious for lung cancer but stable since previous screens (OR, 0.785; 95% CI: 0.706-0.872; P<0.001)
  • Major abnormality that was suspicious for lung cancer that was new or changed from the previous screen (OR, 0.663; 95% CI, 0.607-0.724; P<0.001)

Difference in smoking prevalence rates persisted for up to five years following the last screen.

“Integration of effective smoking cessation programs within screening programs should lead to further reduction in smoking-related morbidity and mortality,” concluded the authors.


  1. Tammemagi M et al. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2014; doi: 10.1093/jnci/dju084