…you need surgery. Did you know that some people-including some clinicians-believe that quiting smoking before surgery actually increases risk for pulmonary (lung) complications after surgery? In the last couple of months 2 different meta-analyses have put this question to rest and not only were there not more pulmonary complications, one analysis actually found a 41% relative reduction in total post-operative complications. The longer you quit the better, but even quiting for relatively short periods of time yeilded benefits to the quitter.
We talk a lot about the longer-term risks of smoking (i.e. heart attacks, cancer, lung disease, etc), and how quiting can decrease your risk for those problems. And while this is true, these recent studies point out a short-term benefit: if you’re looking at having surgery and want to reduce your risk of complications afterward, consider quiting now!
(This is one of the new warning labels being considered for cigarette packaging)