The effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions prior to surgery: A systematic review

Mark Cropley, Alice Theadom, Gabriella Pravettoni, Gemma Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions prior to surgery and examine smoking cessation rates at 6 months follow-up. The Cochrane Library Database, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Medline, and Cinahl databases were searched using the terms: smok$, smoking cessation, tobacco, cigar$, preop$, operati$, surg$, randomi*ed control$ trial, intervention, program$, cessation, abstinen$, quit. Further articles were obtained from reference lists. The search was limited to articles on adults, written in English and published up to December 2006. Only randomized control trials (RCTs) that incorporated smoking cessation interventions to patients awaiting elective surgery were included. Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Methodological quality was assessed by all the authors. The findings revealed that short-term quit rates (or a reduction by more than half of normal daily rate) ranged from 18% to 93% in patients receiving a smoking intervention (mean 55%), compared with a range of 2%-65% of controls (mean = 27.7%). Two studies examined smoking status at 6 months but these revealed no significant difference in abstinence rates between patients who had received an intervention and those that had not. Studies that incorporated counseling in addition to nicotine replacement therapy appeared to show greater benefits. It is concluded that smoking cessation interventions prior to surgery are effective in helping patients to quit smoking. However, such effects appear to be short-lived. Future research needs to examine intervention and patient factors to see whether tailoring the smoking cessation intervention specifically to the patient improves overall abstinence rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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