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Why you should tell your doctor if you smoke

Should you just gloss over your smoking status when visiting your family doctor or specialist? No! Be honest. Tell your care team if you smoke and how many cigarettes you smoke per day.

Here’s some reasons why you should be up front about whether or not you smoke – even if it’s just a cigarette here or there:

  1. Smoking puts you at risk for certain illness, blood pressure issues and more. Knowing you smoke, your physician can keep a closer eye on those things and catch any problems early. Hiding your smoking status from your care team means they may not know you are at higher risk for certain illnesses. Learn more about how smoking affects your body.
  2. Smoking can affect your healing time when it comes to surgery. If you have surgery coming up, your doctor may provide specific instructions to you if you smoke. Smoking can slow down the healing process because of the reduced amount of oxygen getting to the surgery site. (Read more on the benefits of quitting smoking before surgery.)
  3. Your doctor can connect you with quitting resources when you are ready. There are medications and nicotine replacement products available that can make quitting easier. Your doctor, if they know you smoke and you are looking to quit, can point you in the right direction.

It’s never too late to quit. You can find more resources from Sunnybrook’s Smoking Cessation team at sunnybrook.ca/quitsmoking

 

About the author

Alexis Dobranowski

Alexis Dobranowski is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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