Mayo Clinic Provides Ecigs to Smokers to Reduce Risk for Surgical Complications
Patients who smoke face an increased risk of complications during and after surgery. That’s why doctors at the Mayo Clinic have spent the last two years researching ways to help smokers kick the habit before going under the knife. From December 2014 to June 2015, the Mayo Clinic offered smokers “electronic nicotine delivery devices” before and for two weeks following elective surgeries. Researchers hoped to learn if the ecigarettes could help patients reduce or even eliminate their tobacco use before and after surgery.
Patients were encouraged to use their “electronic nicotine delivery” device anytime they felt an urge to smoke. Patients were told to keep a log of their daily use and changes to behavior and then they returned to Mayo for a follow-up 30 days later. The study found that at the time of follow-up, 17 percent were completely tobacco-free and 51 percent reported that they planned to continue using the ecig. There was a dramatic reduction in tobacco use across the board. The researchers reported, “Average cigarette consumption decreased from 15.6 per person to 7.6 over the study period.” Ultimately, the study concluded that ecigarette “use is feasible and well-accepted in surgical patients.”
In the past, the American medical community has largely shunned ecigarettes. Instead, smokers were presented with other nicotine replacement options like gum or patches. However, success rates were extremely low. Now that the Mayo Clinic took the initial jump into ecig research with remarkable success, it’s possible that other medical professionals will soon recognize ecigs as a viable alternative for smokers that can’t otherwise kick the habit.
Public Health England has already endorsed ecigs for smoking cessation, claiming they are 95 percent safer than traditional cigarettes. With Mayo at the forefront of American medical research, it’s possible that ecigs might be more widely accepted in the United States in the near future.