International tobacco cessation expert Dr. Graham Warren to answer question ‘why quit smoking after you have cancer?’ at free Halifax Public Library lecture


NOTE TO EDITORS: Dr. Graham Warren is in Halifax from Tuesday, June 17 to Thursday, June 19 to participate in the Pan-Canadian Tobacco Cessation in Cancer Care Network meeting, hosted by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. In addition to the public lecture June 17, he will also be speaking with primary care providers and cancer specialists both June 17 and 18. He is available for interviews from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on June 17 and from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. on June 18. Please contact Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) Cancer Care Program communications manager Christine Smith at 902-222-9739 or to arrange an interview time.


HALIFAX, N.S. The benefits of quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco after a cancer diagnosis is the subject of a free public lecture from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, June 17 at the Halifax Public Library on Spring Garden Road.

The lecture, Why quit smoking after you have cancer?, will be presented by Dr. Graham Warren, an international leader and expert on tobacco cessation within cancer care and a radiation oncologist from the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Warren will talk about the many reasons why patients should do all they can to quit smoking and other forms of tobacco when they are diagnosed with cancer.

“We’ve known for some time that smoking decreases the effectiveness of cancer treatment,” Dr. Warren said. “We also that know that quitting smoking even after a cancer diagnosis can improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment and survival. Talking to patients about the effects of smoking and providing support to help them quit is our best opportunity to improve cancer treatment.”

Patients who quit smoking when they are diagnosed with cancer and before they begin treatment:

  • have improved survival;

  • respond better to the cancer treatment;

  • have fewer side effects;

  • have a lower chance of the cancer coming back after it has been treated; and

  • have a lower chance of getting another cancer after the original cancer has been treated.

“I’ve seen first-hand the damage smoking and other forms of tobacco use causes,” said Dr. Drew Bethune, a lung cancer surgeon and senior medical director of NSHA’s Cancer Care Program.

“New evidence pointing to the many benefits of quitting tobacco even after a patient has been diagnosed with cancer is very exciting. We thank Dr. Warren for sharing his expertise with us and for helping our cancer care program integrate tobacco cessation as an important part of cancer treatment. Nova Scotians need to know that it is never too late to benefit from quitting tobacco.”

The Cancer Care Program is building on NSHA’s new smoke and tobacco reduction policy to ensure every cancer patient is asked about their smoking history, advised of the benefits of quitting and provided with supports to try to quit.

NSHA’s Cancer Care Program is responsible for cancer programs and services across the province, including cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, follow-up, supportive care, palliative care and end-of-life care. The Cancer Care Program collaborates with the IWK Health Centre to support the delivery of cancer services to pediatric and young adult patients, and breast health services including screening.


Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344

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Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. NSHA operates hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit for more.