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Invited Commentary
June 13, 2011

The Optimal Timing of Smoking Cessation Before SurgeryComment on “Smoking Cessation Shortly Before Surgery and Postoperative Complications”

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(11):989-990. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.88

There is strong evidence that smoking cessation is beneficial to long-term health.1 Globally, over 230 million adults undergo major surgery annually, and millions of these patients experience major respiratory and cardiovascular complications.2 Upwards of 30% of patients undergoing surgery are smokers at the time of their surgery, and smoking is associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications, the strongest evidence being for respiratory complications.3,4 All patients are forced to become nonsmokers, if only for a short period, around the time of surgery. The perioperative period presents a unique opportunity to try and get patients to permanently stop smoking.

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