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MA 04 - Advocacy: Listen to the Patients (ID 655)
- Event: WCLC 2017
- Type: Mini Oral
- Track: Patient Advocacy
- Presentations: 1
MA 04.09 - A Study on the Damage of Passive Smoking to Japanese Lung Cancer Patients (ID 8789)
11:00 - 12:30 | Author(s): H. Nakahara
Japan’s measures to prevent passive smoking are considered to be among the world’s worst. Creating smoke-free environments is an urgent task for Japan as it prepares to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games. In spring of 2017, discussions on a draft bill to strengthen measures against passive smoking were stalled due to opposition from within the ruling party. One lawmaker remarked that “(Cancer patients) don’t have to work”, indicating that patients can choose their occupation and avoid secondhand smoke as they wish. Against this backdrop, the Japan Lung Cancer Alliance conducted a survey on damage by secondhand smoke to cancer patients. Based on the survey’ result, this study aims to shed light on the problems experienced by lung cancer patients including the impact of secondhand smoke on their employment.
For 5 days from 28 May to 1 June 2017, a survey by questionnaires was conducted on lung cancer patients. The announcement of the survey was made by ten patient advocacy groups.
There were 231 responses, among which valid responses were 215. 91 percent of the respondents considered passive smoking “unpleasant” due to fears or anxieties for recurrence of lung cancer and/or hatred. It was found that among those respondents who were employed at the time of the survey, about 31 percent had been exposed to secondhand smoke at their workplace, and 4.2 percent had quitted their job. Not only at the work place, 6.2 percent of the respondents were exposed to the secondhand smoke at home, event after they were diagnosed as lung cancer.
It is understood that working cancer patients worry about recurrence of cancer and/or hatred. Moreover, the experiences of those lung cancer patients who had left their job because of passive smoking reveal a lack of the freedom to choose their occupation. The urgent countermeasure is also required to prevent the passive smoking at home. Japan’s delay in adopting measures against passive smoking appears be related to an insufficient level of understanding in the society about difficulties faced by cancer patients. It is hoped that this study will draw attention to the damage by passive smoking to lung cancer patients and foster international support for the advocacy of legislation enacting stricter measures.