Beaumont seeks cancer patients for smoking cessation study

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published July 9, 2019

Shutterstock image


ROYAL OAK — Beaumont researchers are inviting cancer patients who smoke and their family members who smoke to join a pilot smoking-cessation study. Data from the study will be used to develop a smoking termination program.

The study, referred to as FAST or “Family Approach to Smoking Termination: Kicking butts one family at a time,” is free to attend with registration and will be held for four consecutive Mondays from July 15 to Aug. 5.

Participants must attend all four classes, which take place from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Beaumont Health and Wellness Center, 4949 Coolidge Highway. There is room in the program for 50 people — 25 smokers and 25 family members.

Dr. Shannon Wills, who primarily sees cancer patients, came up with the idea for the study.

“Oftentimes, when a patient has cancer, smoking is a contributing factor,” Wills said. “There are some small studies that suggest that treatments work better in patients that quit smoking.”

However, telling cancer patients who smoke that they need to quit smoking immediately during one of the most stressful times of their lives is no simple feat. And it’s even harder when a family member or another person in the home continues to smoke.

“If you still have a family member smoking in the house, the relapse rate of going back to smoking would be suggestively high, but we have no data to support this,” Wills said. 

Her goal is to measure whether including family members in the smoking cessation process has a greater impact.

Wills applied for and received an internal grant that awards Beaumont staff and employees funding for improvements benefiting patients and their family members.

The program will include four hourlong smoking cessation classes led by counselors; tools to help stop smoking and live a healthier life; a survival kit to help smokers manage their cravings, including stress balls and chewing straws; questionnaires before and after classes and at the one-, three- and six-month mark; and a certificate of completion.

“My larger vision down the road is to provide better education for medical professionals and how to approach people when it comes to smoking cessation,” Wills said. “We want to find out, if they did relapse, what were the reasons, and if they are having success, what it is they are doing that they have success.”

The results, she said, will be applied to a smoking termination program for all, not just cancer patients.

Lisa Muma, a registered nurse at Beaumont, will coach the team involved through the Patient Family Care Center.

“At Beaumont, we are absolutely committed to partnering with patients and their families, and this grant is a partnership between a patient and a family member to quit smoking,” Muma said. “Unfortunately, we do (see a lot of cancer patients who smoke). … We want to support them as best as we can.”

For more information or to enroll, call (248) 551-7695 or email

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.