Smoking Cessation

One of every three cancer deaths in the nation is linked to smoking.

Quitting tobacco use is one of the most beneficial things you can do to help improve your treatment outcomes. Quitting not only lowers your risk of developing 12 types of cancer, but it also improves survival rates for patients who quit smoking after a cancer diagnosis.

For cancer patients, smoking is proven to:

  • Cause complications from surgery.
  • Reduce efficacy of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • Increase chances of developing a second primary tumor.
  • Lead to additional risks of cancer recurrence.
  • Increase side effects from treatment.

Cancers caused by smoking include oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, trachea, bronchus, lung, acute myeloid leukemia, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney and ureters, cervix, bladder and colorectal.

Given that quitting smoking reduces the risk for lung cancer, quitting is particularly important because lung cancer kills more Americans each year than any other type of cancer.

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is proud to have internationally-renowned researchers in tobacco cessation in its Cancer Control program. In an effort to reduce the cancer burden in our state, Hollings clinicians, basic science researchers, and public health scientists are working together to address tobacco-related cancers from all angles, including population sciences and disparities research, drug discovery, and survivorship research.

Hollings has developed a robust Tobacco Treatment program, with a full team of clinical providers and researchers, and also features a Lung Cancer Screening program. The center offers access to smoking cessation counselors who are available to provide counseling by phone or in person, and all hospital patients are automatically referred to cessation resources through our opt-out approach.

Hollings also participates in research studies that provide alternative methods for individuals who are trying to quit smoking.


Quitting smoking and staying quit is the key. We work with people to do whatever's needed to get them off cigarettes and give them the best outcome they can possibly get.

Dr. Michael Cummings

Dr. Michael Cummings


adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes


of U.S. adults who smoke say they want to quit


of U.S. adults who smoke try to quit each year


of U.S. adults who have ever smoked cigarettes have quit

Ready to Quit?

Check out these important smoking cessation resources for you or a family member who may smoke.

Our Commitment to South Carolina

Each year since 2010, $5 million of annual spending is allocated to Hollings through the state cigarette surtax providing crucial funds for the cancer center. This money allows for the recruitment of leading experts in cancer care and tobacco control, support of shared resources used to conduct cutting-edge research, and funding of pilot projects and clinical trials to study new therapies and treatments.

$16.7 Million

Cutting-edge research requires the latest technology and expertise. State funding covers almost 35% of costs for use of Hollings’ shared resources by cancer investigators.

$12.9 Million

This funding has supported more than 20 innovative research concepts, resulted in high-impact scientific publications, and developed innovative clinical trials.

$18.2 Million

Since 2010, 23 nationally recognized cancer experts have been recruited to the state, assuming leadership roles both at Hollings and at MUSC.