Each year, the third Thursday in November marks the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout – a day when people are asked to stop smoking cigarettes for 24 hours. The premise: “You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with Day One.” The good news is that fewer people are smoking cigarettes – only 13.7 percent, the lowest level ever recorded. The bad news: increasing numbers of people ages 25-44 are obtaining nicotine from a variety of other sources, like e-cigarettes, vaping, or smokeless tobacco. In other words, a new generation is becoming addicted to nicotine.
How does nicotine use impact wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy patients?
It’s been known for many years that nicotine is not good for wound healing. Whether it’s smoked or consumed in another way, nicotine reduces nutritional blood flow to the skin because it’s a vasoconstrictor. Not only does this contribute to peripheral artery disease and increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease, it greatly impairs the ability for injured or damaged tissues, including non-healing wounds, to heal.
For more information, along with tips to help patients quit, visit the tools & resources section of the Great American Smokeout web page.
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