WASHINGTON, D.C.—Limited smoking cessation counseling by urologists may affect short-term abstinence rates in the perioperative period, preliminary results of a pilot study suggest.

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta led by Kenneth Ogan, MD, enrolled 33 smokers who were scheduled for an inpatient urologic surgery. Counseling consisted of the validated “Ask, Advise, and Refer” approach. Validated smoking questionnaires were used to evaluate smoking cessation. The investigators measured expired carbon monoxide (CO) and urinary cotinine (COT) levels to confirm short-term and long-term smoking abstinence, respectively.

Most patients expressed a willingness to quit smoking, with 24 (73%) of the 33 patients planning to quit smoking long term and four (12%) planning to quit during the time of their surgery. Five patients (15%) did not plan to quit, the researchers reported at the American Urological Association 2011 annual meeting.

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The team ascertained smoking cessation rates in 25 and 22 patients on the day of surgery and the first postoperative visit, respectively. On the day of surgery, eight of 25 patients (32%) reported to have quit smoking. Significantly lower levels of CO confirmed short-term abstinence in 17 of 23 (74%) patients who were tested for CO and COT. Eighteen (78%), however, tested positive for COT, indicating poor long-term abstinence. At the first postoperative visit, seven of 22 patients (32%) reported smoking cessation.

“Alternative or supplemental modalities may be necessary to achieve long-term smoking abstinence,” the authors concluded.