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RCSEd Supports Plain Packaging on Cigarettes

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22 Jan 2015

In response to the news that the Government will call a vote on plain cigarettes packaging before the General Election, Mr Ian Ritchie, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said;

"We welcome the news that MPs will be able to vote for plain packaging to be implemented by 2016. We are increasingly aware of the direct impact smoking has on the likelihood that a patient will experience complications during surgery.

"Smoking also increases recovery times and results in unnecessarily long stays in hospital following surgery. The instances of patients being denied surgical options because their history of smoking makes the procedure too risky are all too common. This is why the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh supports any action that will reduce the number of people who smoke."

There is strong evidence that smokers who undergo surgery:

  • have a higher risk of lung and heart complications
  • have higher risk of post-operative infection
  • have impaired wound healing
  • are more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit
  • have an increased risk of dying in hospital
  • are at higher risk of readmission
  • remain in hospital longer


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