I am frequently asked why cigarette smoking affects healing. The carbon monoxide and nicotine work on different aspects of wound healing. Carbon monoxide prevents oxygen from being delivered to tissues “stressed” from surgery. Oxygen is necessary for wound healing, and when limited, can also cause increased wound infections. Nicotine constricts the tiny blood vessels which carry blood (and oxygen) to the edge of a healing wound. Any skin flap surgery (such as facelift, breast surgery, or tummy tuck) are particularly at risk of complications with smokers. At least four weeks for certain procedures but six weeks minimum is generally required for cessation of smoking prior to surgery. It’s your result and you’re worth it!