Everyone Deserves a Smoke-Free OR

We support legislative and regulatory initiatives requiring surgical smoke evacuation.

Surgical smoke is the result of human tissue contact with mechanical tools and/ or heat-producing devices, such as lasers and electro-surgery knives commonly used for dissection and hemostasis. The harmful effects of surgical smoke and its dangerous contaminants are well documented and impact both patients and workers.

Get involved with AORN’s policy efforts to make every state surgical-smoke free.

Log in and download the AORN Surgical Smoke Evacuation Legislation Checklist.

Legislative & Regulatory Efforts

AORN Spearheads Workplace Safety Initiative

AORN led the effort to make Rhode Island the first state to address smoke evacuation by law, and is actively working in several states to ensure operating rooms are surgical smoke-free. Interested in legislation for your state? The first step is to connect with AORN Government Affairs.


The average daily impact of surgical smoke to the OR team is equivalent to smoking 27-30 unfiltered cigarettes.

Surgical smoke plumes 

Why is surgical smoke dangerous?

Surgical smoke is full of carcinogenic and mutagenic cells, can include over 150 hazardous chemicals, including all 16 U.S. EPA Priority Pollutant PAHs, and likely exposes OR staff to biological (human) contaminants including aerosolized blood.

Surgical Smoke Resources

Read the latest news from AORN about surgical smoke evacuation policy initiatives, and review current smoke evacuation legislation. Learn how to become an effective advocate at your capitol.

NOTE: To access the list of smoke evacuation bills, please login with your AORN membership username and password.