Thorax 69:574-579 doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203849
  • Smoking
  • Original article

Smoking habits in the randomised Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial with low-dose CT: final results after a 5-year screening programme

  1. Philip Tønnesen1
  1. 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Gentofte University Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway
  3. 3Department of Thoracic Surgery RT, Rigshospitalet, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Internal Medicine, Frederikssund Hospital, Frederikssund, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Haseem Ashraf, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Gentofte University Hospital, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark; haseem.ashraf{at}
  • Received 7 May 2013
  • Revised 15 October 2013
  • Accepted 26 December 2013
  • Published Online First 17 January 2014


Background We present the final results of the effect of lung cancer screening with low-dose CT on the smoking habits of participants in a 5-year screening trial.

Methods The Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial (DLCST) was a 5-year screening trial that enrolled 4104 subjects; 2052 were randomised to annual low-dose CT (CT group) and 2052 received no intervention (control group). Participants were current and ex-smokers (≥4 weeks abstinence from smoking) with a tobacco consumption of ≥20 pack years. Smoking habits were determined annually. Missing values for smoking status at the final screening round were handled using two different models.

Results There were no statistically significant differences in annual smoking status between the CT group and control group. Overall the ex-smoker rates (CT + control group) significantly increased from 24% (baseline) to 37% at year 5 of screening (p<0.001). The annual point prevalence quit rate increased from 11% to 24% during the five screening rounds; the ex-smokers’ relapse rate remained stable, around 11%, across the same period.

Conclusions Screening with low-dose CT had no extra effect on smoking status compared with the control group, but overall the screening programme probably promoted smoking cessation.

Clinical Trial Registration: The DLCST is registered in Clinical Protocol Registration System (identification no. NCT00496977).