Tobacco kills almost half a million Americans each year, maybe more. Most from cigarettes. And eight million of these smokers undergo surgery each year. Imagine if they stayed with the forced period of not smoking before, during, and after surgery? If these folks didn't pick up a smoke after their coronary bypass surgery or partial lung removal - all caused by smoking in the first place - we'd save our loved one's lives and health care dollars. So, having an operation offers a number of opportunities. Stopping smoking is the big one. But, also you will lose weight after most major operations because of a restricted diet and this is a trend you can build on as well.
But, don't wait for your surgeon to encourage you to quit. We seldom think about it. If you're a smoker and have thought about quiting - that's the first step, always - and you need an operation, consider using the trip to the hospital as the catalyst for smoking cessation. You can ask for help. Hospital personel can connect you to services for quiting using drugs and behavioral modification. Don't think of it as a New Year's resolution. Consider it a new year committment.
My wife and I have several family photos of Christmas parties in the northeast with cousins and uncles standing in the frigid cold on our front porch chuckling as they drag on thier cigarettes. I often wonder in retrospect what was so funny.
They're all dead.