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Wilmot Cancer Institute / Patients & Caregivers / Wellness Services / Tobacco Dependence Treatment
 

Tobacco Dependence Treatment

Quitting tobacco

Even if you have been diagnosed with cancer, quitting tobacco can make a difference in your health. It can make your radiation and chemotherapy more effective, help surgical wounds heal and reduce the risk of your cancer returning or of developing another cancer.

Quitting tobacco is difficult because the addiction to nicotine can be very powerful. Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program can help you succeed.

No matter where you are in your cancer care or what form of tobacco you use, you can participate in the program. Even if you’re not quite ready to quit, we’re here to help.

The program is personalized to meet your specific needs. Features of the program can include:

  • Strategies to manage triggers and cravings, as well as stress management techniques.
  • Medication such as nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications such as Chantix (varenicline) or Zyban (bupropion).
  • If you want to cut down, but not stop, and try a medication, we can help monitor your progress and any side effects.

Over the course of six months, you will have several one-on-one appointments with the Tobacco Dependence Treatment team. Your appointments can be conveniently scheduled to coincide with your other visits.

We will treat everyone, regardless of their insurance status. Although most insurance plans cover tobacco dependence treatment, be sure to contact your insurer to find out what your plan covers.

Our Team

The Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program works closely with your Wilmot Cancer Institute team to coordinate your care.

  • Geoffrey C. Williams, M.D., Ph.D., is co-director of the Wilmot Cancer Institute Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program, Williams has 28 years of experience helping people quit. He is board-certified in internal medicine, clinical lipidology, and in hypertension.
  • Chunkit Fung, M.D., is co-director of the Wilmot Cancer Institute Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program, Fung is a medical oncologist with a special interest in cancer survivorship. He is board-certified in medical oncology and internal medicine.
  • Patricia Mallaber, N.P., received her Master’s degree from the University of Rochester School of Nursing and has a background in cardiology.  She is a board-certified Adult Nurse Practitioner.

The benefits of quitting tobacco

In addition to improving your health, quitting tobacco now can:

  • Make chemotherapy and radiation more effective.
  • Help surgical wounds to heal.
  • Reduce your chances of heart attack, and stroke by 50% within 1 year
  • Reduce your risk of infection.
  • Give you more energy.
  • Improve your quality of life.
  • Reduce the chance of your cancer coming back.
  • Reduce the chance of another cancer.
  • Improve the lives of your loved ones by eliminating their exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Slows the progression of emphysema to that of a non-smoker at the time you stop
  • Reduces your chance of getting diabetes, or if you have it, stopping improves control of your blood sugar
  • Improves your pain control 

Other resources

  • Smokefree.gov provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking. 
  • The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a free and confidential service that provides effective stop-smoking services to New Yorkers who want to stop smoking.