Background: Smoking cessation is presumed to be beneficial before resection of lung cancer. The effect of smoking cessation on outcome was investigated.
Methods: From January 1999 to July 2007, in-hospital outcomes for 7990 primary resections for lung cancer in adults were reported to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery Database. Risk of hospital death and respiratory complications was assessed according to timing of smoking cessation, adjusted for clinical confounders.
Results: Hospital mortality was 1.4% (n = 109), but 1.5% in patients who had smoked (105 of 6965) vs 0.39% in those who had not (4 of 1025). Compared with the latter, risk-adjusted odds ratios were 3.5 (p = 0.03), 4.6 (p = 0.03), 2.6 (p = 0.7), and 2.5 (p = 0.11) for those whose timing of smoking cessation was categorized as current smoker, quit from 14 days to 1 month, 1 to 12 months, or more than 12 months preoperatively, respectively. Prevalence of major pulmonary complications was 5.7% (456 of 7965) overall, but 6.2% in patients who had smoked (429 of 6941) vs 2.5%% in those who had not (27 of 1024). Compared with the latter, risk-adjusted odds ratios were 1.80 (p = 0.03), 1.62 (p = 0.14), 1.51 (p = 0.20), and 1.29 (p = 0.3) for those whose timing of smoking cessation was categorized as above.
Conclusions: Risks of hospital death and pulmonary complications after lung cancer resection were increased by smoking and mitigated slowly by preoperative cessation. No optimal interval of smoking cessation was identifiable. Patients should be counseled to stop smoking irrespective of surgical timing.