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CONNECT: Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Judith Walsh, M.D., M.P.H.
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 28) Grant #: 28IP-0034 Award: $499,241
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: High Impact Pilot Award

Initial Award Abstract

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.  Lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomographic tomography is currently recommended for individuals at high risk for lung cancer based on current or past smoking history.  When an individual is about to receive a test for lung cancer, he/she might feel particularly vulnerable to the effects of smoking and so this would be an optimal time to encourage smokers to quit.  Little is known about how best to promote smoking cessation among individuals who are receiving lung cancer screening.

We propose developing and testing a novel smoking cessation intervention, CONNECT, which will start at the time the individual is receiving lung cancer screening.  CONNECT will include an interactive Video Doctor which will provide participants with information tailored to their individual responses as well as proactive outreach using brief telephone calls and text messaging to follow up smokers with motivation enhancement to refer and engage patients in evidence based smoking cessation interventions (such as quitline utilization). 

After development and usability testing, we will test CONNECT in a pilot study among diverse smokers in two settings, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California, San Francisco, Division of General Internal Medicine.  We will first assess feasibility with 10 participants and then conduct a randomized controlled trial with 90 participants to assess the impact of CONNECT on smoking abstinence in these two settings.  Participants will be randomized to CONNECT or a control condition where they will undergo assessment and then receive a smoking cessation resource list.  The primary study outcome will be biochemically confirmed 30-day smoking abstinence at 3 months. Secondary outcomes will include self reported smoking status at 3 months, quit attempts, use of evidence based smoking cessation resources (quitline, medications to help stop smoking and counseling) feasibility and acceptability of the intervention.

The knowledge gained from this study will provide the pilot data necessary to apply for a larger study to test our unique intervention for promoting smoking cessation among a diverse population of high-risk smokers so that ultimately more smokers can be reached and encouraged to quit.