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Smoking in the hospital?

Sorry..you are not allowed to smoke cigarettes or cigars in the Hospital!  No surpise there!  Chewing tobacco is OK.

We can however give you Nicotine gum or a nicotine patch to help with the cravings. Some patients will use the new electronic cigarette substitutes to get by. probably the best treatment is to get you out of the hospital and home as soon as possible.

Smoking is not a good thing after anesthesia, as it can close up the lung cells and increase fevers. Healing wounds also do worse in smokers. This is because nicotine constricts  small blood vessels in the hands and feet, and in the wound edges.  At least try to cut back before surgery. We will give you breathing treatments in the hospital, particularly before anesthesia to help keep your lungs wide open and clear.

Occaisionally we can discharge you home sooner than usual,  so you can have a short smoke, but that may not be the best thing to do. Cardiac patients will also get some constriction of their coronary arteries with nicotine and smoke.   It is a stressful world and we all use stuff to help us deal with stress ( I like to eat more cupcakes and bagels!).  Talk to your family doctor and they will help you find the best way to cut back or quit smoking, even if it is AFTER your surgery.TJC