Smoke Evacuation Regulations are Coming…Is Your Facility Prepared? 


Considerations for a successful smoke management implementation

As of November 2023, 28% of the United States has implemented surgical smoke legislation. These mandates require smoke evacuation be present in operating rooms during procedures that generate surgical smoke plume. This includes roughly 90% of all surgical procedures.1

Since the summer, Ohio, Missouri, and Louisiana have all adopted laws to ensure smoke-free operating environments for their staff and patients. Washington and Connecticut are joining this growing list, with laws going into effect January 1, 2024. 


Some healthcare facilities are proactively seeking smoke management solutions to enhance worker and patient safety. The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association (MHA) announced this year that Massachusetts hospitals have committed to eliminating surgical smoke from their facilities by 2024.

Michael Gustafson, MD, President of UMass Memorial Medical Center, Chair of CIAC, and a member of the MHA Board says, “the necessary goal is to protect all members of the OR team – surgeons, nurses, allied healthcare staff, and, of course, patients – from hazard. It’s part of the culture of safety that all hospitals strive for.” 2

While many in these states are celebrating wins for a healthier working environment, some are only just receiving the memo.

If you are preparing to implement smoke evacuation, here are three considerations to ensure success

Choice Improves Compliance
Asking surgeons to exchange their instruments for something new may spark hesitation. And rightfully so, as surgeons typically choose what enables them to best treat their patients and secure strong outcomes. By offering a range of options, you can increase the likelihood of matching the feel and performance of the device they’re most comfortable using. 

Expertise Matters
For many, this is their first time implementing smoke evacuation. Familiarity with guidelines and recommendations, portfolio options, and suggested trainings may be low. Partnering with an expert in this field can benefit you and your facility. Relying on the experience of those who’ve gone before can streamline the implementation process for your entire team. 

Financing Flexibility
If you did not budget for the effects of smoke evacuation legislation, you are not alone. Luckily, there are several options for healthcare facilities to secure the equipment you need today. Placement agreements, no interest financing, even no payments for extended periods of time are all options that some manufacturers can provide for their customers. If this factor is important to you, make sure you discuss these options with your smoke management partner. 

The laws impacting surgical smoke management are designed to promote a safe and healthy operating environment for all perioperative staff and patients. If you are implementing smoke evacuation soon, consider CONMED and the Buffalo Filter brand. As the leader in smoke management, we can simplify the process for you from start to finish. LEARN MORE

1 Steege AL, Boiano JM, Sweeney MH. Secondhand smoke in the operating room? Precautionary practices lacking for surgical smoke. Am J Ind Med. 2016;59(11):1020-1031.