Do I need to stop smoking a lot in advance of surgery?

Its a good idea. Smoking is not an absolute contraindication and surgery can still proceed but healing will be less efficient and respiratory complications more likely in someone who is currently smoking. If you have significan heart disease- it may be the difference in haveing a bad complication.
Smoking and surgery. Yes, you need to start nicotine patch and gradually reduce the # of cigarettes you smoke before surgery. Your lung function improves and outcome of surgery and overall health are better.
Yes. Nicotine behaves as a vasoconstrictor of vessels thereby decreasing blood flow to tissues ( that need to receive blood flow to heal after surgery).  a decrease in this blood flow may result in wound healing problems and/or tissue death. Patients should avoid all forms of nicotine ( smoking, gum, patches), especially prior to procedures involving flaps such as breast lifting, tummy tuck, facelifts.