Smoking and Cosmetic Surgery Risks: 10 Reasons You Should Quit

If you’re wanting to have breast surgery or a tummy tuck, be aware that any form of smoking before or after cosmetic surgery – is a major no no.

That warning applies equally to smoking and/or vaping including:

  • nicotine and tobacco
  • flavoured herbs
  • cannabis

Why do we recommend you stop smoking? Smoking increases your bruising and infection risks, even after having cosmetic facial injections.

Why is Smoking Before or After Cosmetic Surgery a Very Bad Idea?

Smoking harms a incredible amount of vital body processes, including your:

  • brain chemistry
  • moods
  • hormones
  • fertility
  • skin health
  • retinal functions
  • dental health
  • nasal passages
  • lungs
  • vocal chords
  • blood circulation
  • immune functions and more

Further, smoking can even down-regulated other substances and leads to co-addictions. So smoking at any time – no matter how little – means you’re compromising your journey and your surgery results. Why pay for the cost of a breast augmentation or tummy tuck if you haven’t quit yet? You’ll likely only end up in strife and disappointed.

The Dangers of Active Smoking Habits for Cosmetic Surgery Patients

Smoking impacts your immune processes and reduces healing functions. As a result, not only is healing and recovery slowed down, you run the risk of complications during or after your procedure. Plus, let’s face it. Surgery or no surgery, smoke inhalation is never safe, not even one cigarette a day. It’s all dangerous and detrimental to your well-being – especially if you’ve just had plastic surgery

So here are the top 10 reasons you need to quit smoking long before you have cosmetic or plastic surgery such as a breast augmentation, abdominoplasty or other procedures.

Smoking, Nicotine, Cannabis, Breast Surgery and Tummy Tucks: a sure-fire way to ruin your results and health.

dangers-of-smoking-before-cosmetic-surgery-breast-implants - 10 reasons to quit

10 Reasons to Quit Smoking Before your Breast Surgery or Abdominoplasty

1. Smoking Delays Healing

  • Recovery after surgery takes longer if you smoke
  • Your skin won’t heal as smoothly or readily as it otherwise might
  • Skin healing is compromised due to lower uptake of important nutrients when you smoke, especially Vitamin C – a necessary nutrient for your  healing and recovery
  • Learn why Vitamin C is so important to cosmetic surgery recovery processes, and how deficient uptake of nutrients leaves smoker’s skin looking WORSE and more readily wrinkled at an earlier age (more links below)

2. Infection Risks Last Longer

  • Delayed wound healing also means your wound vulnerability to infections lasts longer
  • Wounds may break down or fall prey to bacteria contamination and staph infections – all of which will be more difficult to treat if you are smoking
  • This risk not only impacts your overall safety, you could end up with a horrific wound infection and terrible looking scar

3. Higher Risks of Fatal Complications (Blood Clot/DVT)

4. Skin Could Turn Necrotic (Tissue Death)

5. Medication Requirements May Be Higher

  • Tobacco, nicotine and cannabis are all drugs that down-regulate the effects of other substances, drugs and prescribed medications (including antibiotics and pain relief)
  • This means you tend to need more caffeine, more pain control, and more medications to keep your levels balanced
  • You may even drink more alcohol when you have a cigarette or smoking addiction, because you’ll likely combine these two habits – and you’ll need higher levels of alcohol to feel intoxicated when you smoke versus stay smoke free – this can further compound the problems smoking adds to your recovery period

6. You’re Unlikely to Exercise as Much

  • To sustain your abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or breast surgery results, you need to stay fit and healthy
  • This means maintaining a stable weight
  • But if your lungs won’t let you exercise to stay fit and healthy, you could end up with dangerous cardiovascular health and weight changes
  • Also, instead of walking or going to the gym at your lunch break, you’ll be tempted to smoke instead – not good!


7.  Lower Immunity Means Your Body is Less Likely to Cope with Bacteria

  • Breast implant surgery needs to be done in as sterile an environment as possible
  • Even so, bacteria is everywhere – and if there is a contamination around your surgery site, your body will have greater difficulty fighting it – this could lead to systemic issues or further problems down the track

8.  Your Breasts Might be More Prone to Bottoming Out – and Fat Transfer to Face is Unlikely to Take Well

  • If your skin is weaker than it would be due to collagen deficiency, your skin will sage prematurely
  • Breast implants could ‘bottom out’ prematurely in terms of implant position due to lack of skin strength
  • If you have fat transfer to the face, fat is less likely to survive in patience who smoke

9.  Waste of Financial Resources

  • Cigarettes, tobacco and cannabis cost a lot to buy (not to mention can be illegal)
  • Once you have a new flatter belly after a tummy tuck, or more shapely breasts after a breast augmentation or breast reduction or uplift, wouldn’t you rather enjoy new clothing, a better swimsuit or an overseas adventure instead of wasting it on cigarettes?

10. Quitting Before Cosmetic Surgery May Be the Catalyst to Stay Smoke-Free


American Journal of Public Health. February 1989. The Influence of Smoking on Vitamin C Status in Adults [online]. Authors: G. Schectman, J. C. Byrd, and H. W. Gruchow. Available from: (accessed 30 January 2019)

Journal of  Dental Research. March 2010. Factors Affecting Wound Healing [online]. Authors: S. Guo and L. A Di Pietro. Available from: (accessed 30 January 2019)

American Journal of Public Health. February 1992. Smoking and Wound Healing [online]. Author: P Silverstein. Available from: (accessed 30 January 2019)

World Health Organisation. February 2016. Tobacco Explained: The Truth About the Tobacco Industry…In Its Own Words [online]. Authors: Clive Bates and Andy Rowell. Available from: (accessed 30 January 2019)

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing. September-October 2014. Smoking, Chronic Wound Healing, and Implications for Evidence-Based Practice [online]. Authors: Jodi C. McDaniel and Kristine K. Browning. Available from: (accessed 30 January 2019)

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. September 2017. Perioperative and Long-Term Smoking Behaviours in Cosmetic Surgery Patients [online]. Authors: A. C. Van Slyke, M. Carr, A. D. C. Knox, K. Genoway, and N. J. Carr. Available from: (accessed 30 January 2019)

The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. March 2017. The Effect of Smoking on Facial Fat Grafting Surgery [online]. Authors: B. Özalp and C. Çakmakoğlu. Available from: (accessed 30 January 2019)