Perioperative tobacco use interventions in Japan: A survey of thoracic surgeons and anaesthesiologists

T. Kai, T. Maki, S. Takahashi, D. O. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background. Tobacco use interventions in surgical patients who smoke could benefit both their short-term outcome and long-term health. Anaesthesiologists and surgeons can play key roles in delivering these interventions. This study determined the practices, attitudes, and beliefs of these physicians regarding tobacco use interventions in Japan. Methods. Questionnaires were mailed to a national random sampling of Japanese anaesthesiologists and thoracic surgeons (1000 in each group). Results. The survey response rate was 62%. More than 80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statements affirming the benefits of abstinence to surgical patients. However, only 26% of surgeons and 6% of anaesthesiologists reported almost always providing help to their patients to quit smoking. Compared with anaesthesiologists, surgeons were more likely to perform the elements of current recommendations for brief intervention, and to have attitudes favourable to tobacco use interventions. The most significant barrier to intervention identified by both groups was a lack of time to perform counselling. Compared with non-smokers, physicians who smoked were less likely to perform each of the recommended tobacco interventions. Conclusions. Although current rates of intervention provided by anaesthesiologists and surgeons are low, there is considerable interest among these physicians in learning more about interventions. Given the relatively high prevalence of smoking in Japan and the potential for surgery to serve as a 'teachable moment' to promote abstinence from smoking, leadership by these specialists in the area of tobacco control could have a major impact on public health in Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-410
Number of pages7
JournalBritish journal of anaesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Complications, smokers
  • Education
  • Surgery, preoperative period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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