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No Smoking in the OR

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If you're a smoker and need elective surgery, should you kick the habit before the operation?

Absolutely! People who smoke are more likely to have problems after an operation:
More wound infections
More breathing problems
You're more likely to have a heart attack
And your hospital stay is apt to be longer

Smokers have nearly twice the risk of pneumonia, and double the chance of going on a breathing machine.

These increased risks mean a higher price tag…nearly twice that for non-smokers – most often from respiratory problems

When must you quit smoking to get benefits?

Two randomized trials found stopping four to eight weeks before surgery can cut complications by at least half, and as much at two thirds.

Any reason to stop smoking is a good one. Surgery is especially so.

Remember: Second hand smoke is also a health risk...especially for children.

Once you stop, don’t start back. You -- and everybody around you -- will be better off.