Anesthesiologists and the Other Pandemic: Tobacco Use

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Tobacco use will kill a projected 1 billion people in the 21st century in one of the deadliest pandemics in history. Tobacco use disorder is a disease with a natural history, pathophysiology, and effective treatment options. Anesthesiologists can play a unique role in fighting this pandemic, providing both immediate (reduction in perioperative risk) and long-term (reduction in tobacco-related diseases) benefits to their patients who are its victims. Receiving surgery is one of the most powerful stimuli to quit tobacco. Tobacco treatments that combine counseling and pharmacotherapy (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy) can further increase quit rates and reduce risk of morbidity such as pulmonary and wound-related complications. The perioperative setting provides a great opportunity to implement multimodal perianesthesia tobacco treatment, which combines multiple evidence-based tactics to implement the four core components of consistent ascertainment and documentation of tobacco use, advice to quit, access to pharmacotherapy, and referral to counseling resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-508
Number of pages25
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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