Program Helps Patients Quit Smoking Before Surgery

(HealthDay News) – A smoking cessation intervention offered in a preadmission clinic is associated with decreased rates of smoking on the day of surgery and 30 days postoperatively, according to research published in the September issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Susan M. Lee, MD, of the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned patients in the preadmission clinic at a hospital to either an intervention group (84 patients) or a control group (84 patients). The intervention group received brief counseling on smoking cessation by the preadmission nurse, brochures, referral to a smokers’ helpline, and a free six-week supply of transdermal nicotine replacement therapy. The control group received standard care.

The researchers found a significantly higher rate of smoking cessation in the intervention group (14.3%) than in the control group (3.6%; relative risk, 4). No difference was observed in the overall combined rate of intraoperative and immediate postoperative complications between the groups. At 30 days following surgery, the rate of smoking cessation was significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control group (28.6% vs. 11%; relative risk, 2.6).

“The results of this study show that a smoking cessation intervention, designed to minimize additional use of physician or nursing time, results in decreased smoking rates on the day of surgery and promotes abstinence 30 days postoperatively,” the authors write.

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