Background: Smoking is a risk factor for complications after lung resection. Our primary aim was to ascertain thoracic surgeons’ beliefs and practices on smoking cessation before lung resection. Methods: An anonymous survey was emailed to 846 thoracic surgeons who participate in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery Database. Results: The response rate was 23.6% (n = 200). Surgeons were divided when asked whether it is ethical to require that patients quit smoking (yes, n = 96 [48%]) and whether it is fair to have their outcomes affected by patients who do not quit (yes, n = 87 [43.5%]). Most do not require smoking cessation (n = 120 [60%]). Of those who require it, the most common required period of cessation is 2 weeks or more. Most believe that patient factors are the main barrier to quitting (n = 160 [80%]). Risk of disease progression (39% vs 17.5%, p = 0.02) and alienating patients (17.5% vs 8.8%, p = 0.04) were very important considerations of those who do not require smoking cessation versus those who do. Only 19 (9.5%) always refer to a smoking cessation program and prescribe nicotine replacement therapy and even fewer, 9 (4.5%), always refer to a program and prescribe medical therapy. Conclusions: Thoracic surgeons are divided on their beliefs and practices regarding smoking cessation before lung resection. Most believe patient factors are the main barrier to quitting and have concerns about disease progression while awaiting cessation. Very few surgeons refer to a smoking cessation program and prescribe nicotine replacement therapy or medical therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine