OKLAHOMA CITY (March 7, 2012) – Local hospitals require patients to quit smoking in order to receive a kidney or lung transplant, but have no policy regarding liver transplants, state Rep. Anastasia A. Pittman said today.
House Bill 2673, by Pittman, would make a requirement that liver transplant recipients quit smoking state law.
“There are studies that indicate that hospital policy regarding liver transplant patients should be the same as with a kidney or lung transplant patient,” said Pittman (D-Oklahoma City). “After receiving a life-saving organ that could have gone to someone else, it just is not appropriate to smoke. It’s a slap in the face of the donor and of other potential recipients.”
Smoking predicted higher risk for malignancy after liver transplantation and smoking withdrawal was associated with a lower risk for malignancy, according to the results of a study published in the April print issue of Liver Transplantation.
According to the United Network of Organ Sharing, there is a significant difference between the number of listed candidates for liver transplants and available organs.
Pittman said the legislation stems from an Integris registered nurse, who brought the idea to her as part of a class.
“Basically, we are encouraging the hospitals to expand their policy of requiring a transplant recipient quit smoking,” Pittman said. “It won’t create any hardship on the hospital, which is already following similar policies.”
House Bill 2673 was approved in committee and now awaits consideration on the House floor.
The committee substitute to HB 2673 prohibits individuals from being eligible for a liver transplant if they use tobacco products six months prior to the scheduled transplant.