DOI: 10.1111/anae.16120 ISSN:

Peri‐operative tobacco cessation interventions: a systematic review and meta‐analysis

S. Harrogate, J. Barnes, K. Thomas, A. Isted, G. Kunst, S. Gupta, S. Rudd, T. Banerjee, R. Hinchliffe, R. Mouton
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Tobacco smoking is associated with a substantially increased risk of postoperative complications. The peri‐operative period offers a unique opportunity to support patients to stop tobacco smoking, avoid complications and improve long‐term health. This systematic review provides an up‐to‐date summary of the evidence for tobacco cessation interventions in surgical patients. We conducted a systematic search of randomised controlled trials of tobacco cessation interventions in the peri‐operative period. Quantitative synthesis of the abstinence outcomes data was by random‐effects meta‐analysis. The primary outcome of the meta‐analysis was abstinence at the time of surgery, and the secondary outcome was abstinence at 12 months. Thirty‐eight studies are included in the review (7310 randomised participants) and 26 studies are included in the meta‐analysis (5969 randomised participants). Studies were pooled for subgroup analysis in two ways: by the timing of intervention delivery within the peri‐operative period and by the intensity of the intervention protocol. We judged the quality of evidence as moderate, reflecting the degree of heterogeneity and the high risk of bias. Overall, peri‐operative tobacco cessation interventions increased successful abstinence both at the time of surgery, risk ratio (95%CI) 1.48 (1.20–1.83), number needed to treat 7; and 12 months after surgery, risk ratio (95%CI) 1.62 (1.29–2.03), number needed to treat 9. More work is needed to inform the design and optimal delivery of interventions that are acceptable to patients and that can be incorporated into contemporary elective and urgent surgical pathways. Future trials should use standardised outcome measures.

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