Queensland Tobacco and other Smoking Products (Smoke-free Places) Amendment Bill 2015


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7 December 2015

Tobacco use is known to cause certain cancers and increase the risk of other diseases and congenital abnormalities. Surgical outcomes are consistently poorer for smokers than nonsmokers, with patients who smoke experiencing longer recovery times, increased - risk of wound infection, and significantly increased risk for myocardial infarction and stroke.

Smokers also have a higher post-surgery mortality rate than non-smokers. Smoking cessation is therefore advised to reduce the incidence and severity of disease s linked with tobacco smoking. In many cases there is evidence that smoking cessation prior to surgery also lowers the risk of postoperative wound infection, wound healing problems, respiratory complications and admissions to intensive care.

Patients may already be aware of many of the general risks associated with smoking, but may not be aware of the specific risks related to surgery. Advice on cessation that is delivered at the time a patient is booked for a surgical procedure has been associated with a higher likelihood of a patient attempting to stop. Smoking cessation up to 24 hours prior to surgery has been shown to benefit patients with these benefits increasing the earlier a patient ceases smoking. Cessation should therefore be encouraged at the earliest possible opportunity.