FREDERICTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick Cancer Network, in conjunction with the Horizon Health Network, will expand support to help cancer patients quit smoking and other forms of tobacco use to improve their cancer treatments and recovery.

“Tobacco use reduces the effectiveness of many cancer treatments and increases the likelihood of complications and death in cancer patients,” said Dr. Eshwar Kumar, co-chief executive officer of the New Brunswick Cancer Network. “Evidence suggests that the risk of dying from cancer could be lowered by 30 to 40 per cent by quitting smoking at the time of diagnosis.”

The project will see the New Brunswick Cancer Network provide leadership to implement sustainable smoking cessation practices as a standard of care for cancer patients across the Horizon Health Network. The health network’s Centre of Excellence for Clinical Smoking Cessation will provide training and program facilitation to integrate evidence-based clinical smoking cessation practices across cancer care clinics.

New Brunswick is one of eight provinces and territories to receive funding from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to build or expand smoking cessation programs embedded within cancer care.

“It’s never too late to quit,” said Dr. Heather Bryant, vice-president of Cancer Control at the partnership. “Cancer patients can be highly motivated to give up smoking, but they need support. This funding will allow the New Brunswick Cancer Network, in partnership with the Horizon Health Network, to implement the highly successful Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation in outpatient cancer sites.”

The New Brunswick Cancer Network plans to use the experience of the project to facilitate the eventual implementation of evidence-based tobacco cessation practices into cancer care settings across the province.