Parents who smoke try harder to quit when their child has surgery

According to a new study, parents who smoke are more likely to try to kick the habit if their child is having surgery.

The study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and published in the July issue ofAnesthesiology included 1,112 children who lived with at least one person who smoked in the home.

According to the study, there was an increased likelihood that the parent would try to quit smoking if their child or they themselves had surgery. The parents were more likely to succeed in quitting if they were the ones having surgery. No matter the circumstance, this can be a good opportunity for doctors to step in and offer help.

About one in seven U.S. children who undergo surgery are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes, according to researchers. Prior studies have found that exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of respiratory complications associated with anesthesia. In adults, smoking after surgery has been shown to increase the risks of lung cancer and cardiac complications and infections to the wound.

“Our current findings suggest that having a child undergo surgery can serve as a teachable moment for quit attempts,” study author Dr. David O. Warner said in a news release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. “The scheduling of children for surgery may present us with an opportunity to provide tobacco interventions to parents, who are apparently more motivated to at least try to quit – but who need assistance to succeed.”

If you are a parent who smokes, talk to your doctor about the best ways to quit before you or your child has surgery. Secondhand smoke can add too many complications to post surgery when a patient only needs to heal. Your doctor can help.


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