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asking a patient if they smoke

Posted

At what age can or should a patient be asked if they smoke?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

Asking a patient if he/she smokes is an appropriate question at all ages from adolescence to old age. Smoking is a significant determinant of health status.

melizerd, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/surg, Onc.

I totally agree, asking all patients is the norm.

I also ask about sexual activity, even when my patients are 90, and you'd be surprised how many are still active. So it's just one of the many health questions I ask on admission.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

In the Pediatric ICU, we ask ages ten and up, but I question the parents about second hand exposure for all ages, including newborn.

(Here's a little passive/aggressive tip I learned from one of our docs: When the parents swear that they only smoke outdoors/ away from the child, ask them "If I went down to your car right now in the parking lot, would there be butts in the ashtray?")

I agree with melizard. You'd be surprised what people do at all ages. I always ask, regardless of age.

Thank you. I have asked younger than 18.But I hear 18 is the age appropriate.

I've actually asked 15 year old and they laugh but then say yes but not really. OK. Enplane. They.They say yes but only when my parents aren't around.

laKrugRN

Specializes in Cardiac, ER, Pediatrics, Corrections.

I ask at 13. This is what I was told to do when I worked in the clinic.

I totally agree, asking all patients is the norm.

I also ask about sexual activity, even when my patients are 90, and you'd be surprised how many are still active. So it's just one of the many health questions I ask on admission.

Yikes! I can only imagine how many teens lie about this one ;)

I worked in peds for a spell both acute care and in community based nursing.

If the middle school kid had parents that smoked I asked them if they ever smoked any of their parents cigarettes, then we had a talk about the health risks associated with smoking...as well as the ways it makes them smell and taste bad to the other boys and girls. Some pre-adolescents are concerned with that sort of thing. Those type of conversations can be good informal teaching opportunities.

I have asked when we do well child appts. and the mother said "wow, I can't believe you're asking my 11 year old. I said I'm sorry mam but its part of the questions for that age group. She said ahh no hes not nor has he experienced that. The young man said wait mom, Yes i am . She was blown away but we have to ask. So when we had the CEO of the company give us a questionnaire to see if were asking certain questions I, I ask all questions to all patients that pop up. Didn't wanna be wrong and get chewed out.