Do you Smoke?...Be honest...Please

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  • Specializes in Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Home Health.

I smoke cigarettes. I am just soooooo nervous. Does anyone have any secrets that worked for them on cutting back? My husband also smokes. When I went in to regester, my adviser told me that I smelled like smoke! I can't smell it but I'm sure she's right.

Anyway, she told me that I needed to cut back and that I couldn't smoke during clinicals. I was thinking DUH!! I know that. I'm not completely stupid! Just stupid enough to smoke!

I don't know if that means I will be watched for smoking or what. I really want to cut back.

Does anyone have suggestions? Natural remidies? Will power?


In His Grace,



236 Posts

I smoke and I smoked when I went to nursing school. We had 10 hour clinicals and could smoke on our meager breaks (if we had a break that is). I am a pretty heavy smoker, but I think that you'll find that if smoking is not an option, it won't be much of a problem. Generally they kept us so busy in clinicals that we didn't have much time to think about even grabbing something to eat much less smoking.

As far as you smelling like cigarettes. I would say yes you definitely stink like cigarettes if you smoke. I used to not think that because smokers cant really smell it. Try getting some fresh air outside and then come in and take a very deep breath of something that has been hanging in your closet for a long time. Yup it will smell like an ashtray. Or you could try it when you first wake up. When I wake up cigarettes absolutely reek and I can't stand anyone to light up around me. Go Figure?

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Yes I smoke

a little at work, never at home my wife doesnt allow it


1,326 Posts

My first time around college I smoked about a pack a day for 2 and a half years.

It was really hard not to because my boyfriend smoked, my roommates smoked and it was a really social thing for all of us to get together and smoke. We would come home from class and would go to our bathroom (the only palce in the apartment we agreed on we could smoke) and sit around and smoke and talk about our day.

I was only able to break the habit when in my last semester of school I had to move into my own apartment because my friends and roommates had graduated, moved away, etc. and I decided that I would not under any circumstances smoke in my new apartment because I didn't want it to stink. (At that time my boyfriend also decided that he was quitting.) That left me only able to smoke in bars or outside inbetween classes. That worked for a month or so but then it got to be fall and winter and I am unable to smoke outside when it is really cold. So, that left me unable to smoke anywhere and that's how I finally broke the habit. I didn't intend on quiting but for me smoking was a really social thing for me to do and once I didn't have anywhere and/or anyone to smoke with I cut back greatly.

Don't forget that smoking isn't only a physical addiction, it is also a habit. If you think about what/when you smoke and concentrate on trying to change that routine you might have a better chance of cutting back. At least that's how it worked for me.

I had a friend take a drug, I think it was Wellbutrin, and it did nothing for her. Maybe if you started on the patch you could at least curb your cravings while you are in clinicals.

I really feel for you. I know it is very hard to quit or even to just cut back.

Good Luck!



931 Posts

Hey Colleen, I live close to the Burgh, which school are you attending if you don't mind me asking?


Specializes in NICU.

Can I throw in here that it was a bit inappropriate for her to suggest that you cut back?

I am a smoker, and if someone told me this, advisor or not, I'd have more than a few words for them in return. I would have listened to her, and said very politely, "Thank you for your concern; I'm sure you mean well. However, my smoking will not interfere with my clinical performance, and I am well aware that I will not be allowed to smoke during clinicals. Furthermore, I realize that I am responsible for promoting health and encouraging my paitients to quit smoking, but I am not a patient, and what I do on my own time is nobody's business but mine."

FYI, you do smell like smoke. I smell like smoke. It's virtually impossible not to, ESPECIALLY if your husband/boyfriend/SO smokes as well. There are "precautions" you can take, to lessen the smell. I keep the closet door closed, and it's full of scented sachets. I kept my uniforms bagged in a virtually impermeable garment bag immediately after washing them, and I put two big sachets in the bottom. I also kept my shoes in the box with a sachet, rather than leave them lying around (believe it or not, the leather of the shoes picks up the smell). I kept breath spray and mints in my pocket at all times, and I kept my hair pinned in a twist (when it's down and loose, it picks up the scent more easily). I sprayed a spritz of perfume over my head just in case the hair was smelly. Nothing heavy, just an extra added kind of thing. I would always wash my hands to the mid-forearm area anyway, but I found that alchohol gell (like Purell or Bath and Body Works scented stuff) was great for ensuring that my fingers didn't smell when I was working with patients. Hubby wouldn't stop smoking inside the house, so I had to take a few extra steps, but when you think about it, it's not really that many more things to do. Oh, and I didn't allow him or myself to smoke in the car- only in open spaces.

As far as quitting, I wish you the best of luck. Wellbutrin worked well for me, but I had a family disaster and resumed smoking once I was off the pills because I CHOSE to.

And as far as people rudely commenting on it, well, that's a peeve of mine. But I understand that it does linger on clothing and such, so a well-meant, polite comment will send me scurrying to the bathroom, but a rude remark will have me retorting faster than you can blink your eyes, because when you come down to it, the problem is the rudeness rather than the comment itself, you know?

Good luck in school!


1,326 Posts

Hi Jen2,

I live in the South Hills and I am starting clinicals this fall at CCAC - North Campus. I'm doing the evening/weekend option.

I also went to PSU for an Ag. Science Degree.

What school are you at?


258 Posts


Hello there....

when i smoked, i never thought i smelled....i never smoked in my home (cause i didn't want it to stink). weird that i never thought *I* smelled, but didn't want my home to

after i quit, i still didn't think smokers i know it was all the damage i did to my nasal passages. well they eventually healed, and i swear i smelled things like I hadn't in years.

about six months after i quit smoking, i was going out to lunch with a friend and she was driving.... as soon as i got into her car i thought to myself OMG!!!WHAT A STENCH....i nearly gagged.

Of course i didn't say a word to her...but oh my...... its no wonder people used to tell me i smelled like smoke!

on another note.....i've been in classrooms where a smoker has walked in after smoking outside and watched as everyone grimaced and wrinkled their noses at the smell that seems to envelope smokers like and invisible cloud.

my micro class was like that, we had one very stinky smoker in that class, so much so, that the instructor would say "whoever is smoking before my class, could you please NOT"

It was actually an unpleasant distraction.

All that said...... there are still times when i miss, and its been 3 years!


592 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Home Health.


THANK YOU!! She is also one of the nursing instructors and she wanted to tell me that:

1.) I smelled like smoke.

2.) The patients would say something.

3.) And Some of the people I would be working with think nothing of telling me that I Stink!!

She had me close the door to her office, so she wouldn't embarrass me.

My math instructor was ALWAYS telling me that I smelled like smoke. It REALLY ticked me off. She knew I smoked and wanted me to quit.

My advisor had no idea that I smoked... so I figured that maybe my math instructor was right. I really DO stink!

I would really like to know when it became OK to knock people who smoke? I was standing outside the math building smoking, when a woman walking by said, "I don't feel the least bit sorry for you!" [it was cold out.] I looked her in the eye and told her that I didn't want her pity! It made her so MAD! But I figured, whats good for one is good for another!

Thanks for your advice about sachets and shoes. I REALLY appreciate it!

In His Grace,



262 Posts


I agree that your advisor was rude. Anyway, I quit a year and a half ago. I used nicorette. Only problem was I became addicted to the nicorette, and was on it for a year. Despite that, I think it helped me. I wish you luck!


1,037 Posts

We have several smokers in our class and they stand right outside the door smoking, and then they bring the stench back in with them.. Noone has ever said anything but you can see all the noses crinkle when they walk in..

One of our new clinical instructors smoked, she would leave us to go outside and have a cigarette until someone complained to our dean and they told her she couldn't smoke on school time or the students time..

I don't really think the advisor should have been so *harsh* about it.. But if you do smell like smoke your patients might complain, and people who are allergic to it, might have a problem with it...

Good Luck on quitting.. I'm sure you can do it :)

Specializes in NICU.

Karen: I can so relate.


Scenario: Kristi is smoking out in the cold. Woman walks by.

Woman: I don't feel sorry for you. (evil eyes squinted, snarl on lips)

Kristi: Well, I feel sorry for you. You keep acting like an uppity ***** to total strangers and you're going to end up with your tires slashed one day (pretty eyes squinted, snarl on lips, blows a stream of smoke directly at woman's face, replaces snarl with humongous smile, shows every tooth in her mouth)

Okay, I'm fantasizing, but it's allowed. :D:D:D

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