Current and former smokers incur higher healthcare costs after having surgery than non-smokers, according to a new study. "Smoking causes an estimated $17 billion in excess healthcare costs each year just because it is more expensive to take care of these folks in the first year after surgeries," Dr. David Warner told Reuters Health by email. He led the new study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Warner said helping surgery patients quit smoking benefits not only their post-operation outcomes but also their long-term health. "Clinicians who care for surgical patients have the opportunity and responsibility to help their patients quit smoking," he said.