Smoking is said to harm just about every organ is the body, and has been associated with a myriad of health problems including cancer, premature aging, and pregnancy complications, as well as diseases of the respiratory, cardiovascular, and vascular system.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States. In fact, it said that smoking has been associated with more death each year than the yearly deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
For years, we have known that smoking has been linked with increased low back pain, poor surgical outcome after spinal surgery, and increased complications in spine care after spinal surgery, but a new study has highlighted another negative effect of smoking on the spine.
Researchers reviewed the records of 5333 patients with back pain and gathered information on their smoking history in order to look at the relationship between smoking cessation and the improvement of pain in patients who had spinal interventions. They found that patients who smoked reported significantly greater back pain after spine surgery than those who were nonsmokers. Smokers who quit during the course of their spine care also reported significantly greater improvement in pain over those who continued to smoke. They concluded that there is a strong positive association between smoking cessation and patient report of improved back pain after spine surgery. This finding suggests that patient with painful spine disorder, as well as those undergoing spine surgeries, may benefit from being a part of a smoking cessation program.
To get help to stop smoking you may go to the CDC’s website here. You may also call the CDC for support in quitting, free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to local resources at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669); TTY 1-800-332-8615.
Disclaimer: The information presented is intended for educational purpose only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.