Ask-Advise-Refer to Stop Smoking Before Surgery

February 1, 2008

The American Society of Anesthesiologists has a new campaign to help patients stop smoking at the time of surgery. It’s called Ask-Advise-Refer. All patients should be asked if they smoke, even if the answer is known, to demonstrate that smoking is significant. All patients should be advised to stop smoking before surgery and stay off cigarettes until at least one week after surgery. Patients should be referred for smoking cessation. There is a national Tobacco Quitline number (1-800-QUIT-NOW) which provides free counseling. The ASA web-site provides access to additional resources, including information regarding reimbursement for providing tobacco interventions.