My guess is that it is from stress and repressed feelings of frustration. That would be frustration with work, home, and life in general. There is also the element of recreation-being able to let go and just relax for a few minutes. However, there is also the element of addiction, which explains why smokers begin jonesing and getting a tad cranky when they're 7 hrs. into their 12 hr. shift, haven't had lunch, OR a smoke break!
I used to smoke 1 1/2 pks a day, until I ran out at 11 p.m. on Valentine's Day 1995.
Since I live way up in the mountains, there wasn't a 7-11 I could run down to. I tore the house and my car apart, looking for that extra pack that I always had. This time I didn't have it.
The next day at work, we had one of those days from he**, and we didn't eat or take breaks. It was all we could do to get to the BR! I took it as a sign that the Lord wanted me to quit, and was making it happen this way.
For 2 weeks I didn't even allow myself to stop for a soda on the >1 hr. drive home, because I was afraid I'd buy cigs.
I miss smoking. sometimes, especially stressful times, I miss it a lot.
I know health practitioners are supposed to be examples of good health habits, but I think when you are immersed in some of the most stressful times of life of everyone you come in contact with, you can't help but absorb some of it, and add it to your own private stressors.
Nurses have to have a way to wind down, and unravel their hectic day. Some of us just find it easier to do when we smoke.
But-please don't smoke around me! It could go either way-I usually can't stand the smell, but if it is a day that I'm wishing I never quit, watch out! I might grab your smoke!