-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who smoke are more
likely to try to kick the habit if their child is having surgery,
but their chances of success aren't any better than normal, a new
The findings suggest that doctors could play an important role
in helping these parents quit smoking, said the researchers at the
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The study included 1,112 children who lived with at least one
person who smoked in the home. When either a child or parent had
surgery, there was an increased likelihood that the parent would
try to quit smoking. But the attempts were more likely to succeed
only if it was the parent who was having surgery.
The study is published in the July issue of the journal
About one in seven U.S. children who undergo surgery are
chronically exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes, according
to the 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 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."
The American Cancer Society offers a
guide to quitting smoking.
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