What are the risks of smoking in patients with pneumothorax?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Smoking cessation is strongly advised for all patients. They should be assessed as to readiness to quit, to be educated about smoking cessation, and be provided with pharmacotherapy if ready to quit. Direct patients indicating a readiness to quit smoking to their primary care physician or offer referral for cessation management. This may include nicotine replacement and non-nicotine pharmacotherapy such as bupropion or varenicline.

Whether primary or secondary pneumothorax, smoking increases the likelihood of bleb rupture and recurrence, and it does so in a predictable, dose-related manner. Relative risk of bleb rupture and recurrence rises by up to a factor of 20.

For patient education information, see the Lung Disease and Respiratory Health Center and Heart Health Center, as well as Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax) and Chest Pain.

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