The Effects of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Spine Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Keith L. Jackson, John G. Devine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Study Design Literature review. Objective The aim of this literature review was to detail the effects of smoking in spine surgery and examine whether perioperative smoking cessation could mitigate these risks. Methods A review of the relevant literature examining the effects of smoking and cessation on surgery was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases. Results Current smokers are significantly more likely to experience pseudarthrosis and postoperative infection and to report lower clinical outcomes after surgery in both the cervical and lumbar spines. Smoking cessation can reduce the risks of these complications depending on both the duration and timing of tobacco abstinence. Conclusion Smoking negatively affects both the objective and subjective outcomes of surgery in the lumbar and cervical spine. Current literature supports smoking cessation as an effective tool in potentially mitigating these unwanted outcomes. Future investigations in this field should be directed toward developing a better understanding of the complex relationship between smoking and poorer outcomes in spine surgery as well as developing more efficacious cessation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-701
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • cervical spine
  • lumbar spine
  • smoking
  • tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Effects of Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Spine Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this