Smoking cessation correlates with a decrease in infection rates following total joint arthroplasty

Christina Herrero, Alex Tang, Amy Wasterlain, Scott Sherman, Joseph Bosco, Claudette Lajam, Ran Schwarzkopf, James Slover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The impact of tobacco use on perioperative complications, hospital costs, and survivorship in total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is well established. The aim of this study is to report the impact of tobacco cessation on outcomes after TJA and to measure the impact of a voluntary smoking cessation program (SCP) on self-reported smoking quit rates in a premier academic medical center. Methods: A seven-year (2013–2019) SCP database was provided by the Integrative Health Promotion Department and Infection Prevention and Control Department. We evaluated program and smoking status, patient demographics, length of stay (LOS), and 90-day post-operative infection rates and readmission rates. The primary outcome was quit rates based on SCP enrollment status. The secondary outcomes measured infection rates, readmission rates, and LOS based on enrollment status and/or quit rate. Results: A total of 201 eligible patients were identified: 137 patients in the SCP (intervention) group and 64 in the self-treatment (control) group. SCP patients trended towards higher quit rates (43% vs 33%, p = 0.17), shorter LOS (2.47 vs 2.62 days, p = 0.52), lower infection rates (7.3% vs 12.5%, p = 0.27) and slightly higher readmission rates (5.8% vs 4.7%, p = 0.73). In a sub-analysis, self-reported smokers demonstrated statistically significant decrease in infection (3.7% vs 12.5%, p = 0.03). Conclusion: There was a statistically significant decrease in infection rates in patients who self-reported quitting tobacco prior to TJA. Additionally, quit rates for patients who participated in a voluntary SCP trended towards increased pre-operative cessation. Further efforts to increase tobacco cessation prior to TJA and examine the impact on patient outcomes are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-394
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Complications
  • Length of stay
  • Readmissions
  • Smoking cessation
  • Total joint arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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