Electronic cigarettes and smoking cessation in the perioperative period of cardiothoracic surgery: views of Australian clinicians

Nia A. Luxton, Patti Shih, Muhammad Aziz Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


For patients who smoke, electronic cigarettes may offer a pathway to achieve tobacco abstinence and reduce the risk of postoperative complications. Clinicians have a pivotal role in supporting smoking cessation by patients with lung cancer and coronary artery disease throughout the perioperative period of cardiothoracic surgery. However, the views of Australian cardiothoracic clinicians on electronic cigarettes and smoking cessation are unknown. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 52 cardiothoracic surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and physiotherapists in six hospitals in Sydney and thematically analysed. Clinicians' knowledge about electronic cigarettes and the regulatory environment surrounding them was limited. Clinicians believed that: electronic cigarettes, though unlikely to be safe, were safer than tobacco cigarettes; electronic cigarettes may have a harm reduction role in public health; and electronic cigarettes were a potential smoking cessation tool for the extraordinary circumstances of surgery. The professional role of a clinician and their views about electronic cigarettes as a perioperative smoking cessation aid had an influence on future clinician-patient interactions. Electronic cigarette use is increasing in Australia and clinicians are likely to receive more frequent questions about electronic cigarettes as a cessation aid. Stronger guidance for clinicians is needed on the topic of electronic cigarettes and cardiothoracic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2481
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • anaesthetists
  • electronic cigarette
  • nurses
  • physiotherapists
  • preoperative
  • surgeons
  • surgery
  • tobacco

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