British smokers may lose medical benefits

June 4, 2007

Proposals being considered by the British government may deny cigarette smokers routine operations unless they quit smoking a month prior.

The Daily Telegraph said Monday the plans from the Leicester City West Primary Care Trust propose smokers nationwide lose part of their National Health Service benefits unless they give up their vice.

The proposals come in the wake of recent research that found smokers take significantly longer to recuperate from surgery than non-smokers.

The research also found regular smokers were more susceptible to hospital-based infections.

Under the proposals, smokers would be given nicotine patches and counseling to help them quit.

But to undergo surgery, they would be required to pass a blood test to prove they had been successful.

The newspaper said the proposals would be revisited July 1 by the city trust, the same day Britain will enact a new smoking ban.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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