Nurses and smoking...... - page 2

Ok kinda touchy subject...... Shopping for scrubs this morning, and yes I'll be the first to admit I smoke. Friend walks up to me and says "Aren't you a nurse??? Don't you know what that does to... Read More

  1. by   peaceful
    Someday we may have a smokefree society. I heard on the news the other days that San Francisco is trying to pass a law to prohibit smoking in all public places even open aired parks. Love that idea. To the poster who doesn't want to quit, yet...your in denial. But hey i relate, i do not smoke but am overweight which has its own health consequences. Keep trying to quit smoking when you feel any type of motivation, you will eventaully be able to quit. All we can all do it keep trying to get to that healthy place.
  2. by   ICor9:24
    i think the people who take concern with your smoking understand how harmful and disgusting it is, and most likely they expect you as a nurse to understand it.

    i think anyone who smokes it harming their body irreversably. my grandmother stopped smoking 10 years before she died, but sadly she still died from copd. i just did a presentation to my class on copd and it's effects on the body. i guess i personally don't understand how nurses, who are educated on the effects of smoking on the body, can continue to smoke. even before i started my nursing education, when i was by my grandmothers side the last couple months of her life, my eyes were opened to what a devasting and horrible way that was to die. she was basically slowly suffocating to death, no matter how hard she tried she could never get enough air. her lungs were filled with mucous and infection. she was consantly coughing, choking, and gasping for air.

    i have never been a smoker, so i don't know how hard it is to quit. i know it is extremely hard (from friends and family)..but it isn't impossible. as it has been said already, nurses are supposed to promote health, but yet you step outside to take a 5 minute break to slowly end your life in the long run. i think as a nurse you have a certain obligation to live what you teach. you were taught to take precautions when working with people with infections, and diseases, and how to protect yourself from bloodborn pathogens, etc. and it makes sense to heed those warnings and use what you were taught right? why then wouldn't you heed what you were taught about smoking, and take the simplest precaution of all, and stop smoking? no, nurse's aren't perfect. but it doesn't take a perfect person to stop smoking. it takes someone who cares about their body, their long term health, and the health of their friends and family who are exposed to second hand smoke. eventually, most likely, you will die from smoking. and as it was already said, think about your co-workers, who notice the rank smell right away as soon as you walk by or come close. for non smokers, the odor knocks you over, don't think people don't notice it.

    just in case you need more help understanding why people would think it's so absurd for a nurse to smoke, think about this:

    • cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including ammonia (floor/toilet cleaner), arsenic (rat poison), formaldehyde (embalming fluid), and hydrogen cyanide (gas chamber poison).
    • in 1989, millions of cases of imported fruit were banned after a small amount of cyanide was found in just two grapes. there's thirty-three times more cyanide in a single cigarette than was found in those two grapes.
    • over 50,000 people a year die from secondhand smoke in the us alone.
    • about 1 out of every 5 deaths in the us can be attributed to tobacco products
    (facts courtesy of & )

    i hope you would consider stopping, for your health. best of luck.
    Last edit by ICor9:24 on Jan 29, '05
  3. by   lapappey
    I think this topic has been covered ad nauseaumin this forum, no? And, yes, I smoke, keeping it to a minimum during work and only during legitimate break times. Many people I work with don't even know that I do. There's just no excuse for anyone, smoker or non, to "disappear" during the day, or in any other way make their bad habits interfere with patient care (reeking of cigarettes, taking extra breaks, or for that matter coming in with a hangover, or, God forbid, coming in intoxicated on something ... you name it.) Personally I plan to quit in the near future, certainly by the time I start a family. But right now, unfortunately, it's a part of my routine.
  4. by   not now
    Quote from rjflyn
    Its worse -- respiratory therapists who smoke. Now if there isnt someone who should never think to ever light up after one shift at work.

    Dear God I'll never understand this either. I did my clinicals in a hospital where the RT with the most experience reeked of stale cigaretts.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Well, again we are expecting people in the medical field to have more strength than anyone else simply because we see someone die from COPD.

    I have never smoked and so cannot judge how hard it is to quit. I have met people who quit cold turkey and others who stop and start and stop and start for years before they quit for good.

    Holding healthcare workers to a different standard simply because we have knowledge is unfair . . although I still maintain that EVERYONE knows how bad smoking is for you. It isn't a big secret.

    I know many cardiology physicians who smoke and many who don't. Same with nurses, CNA's, RT's, etc., . .. .

    And teachers and truck drivers and grocery workers and politicians . ..heck most of the teens in England smoke and it isn't even a big deal . .did you see the photo of Prince Harry at the party with the Nazi symbol on his arm? The other hand held a cigarette.

    I don't expect more from people who work in healthcare. Even though I detest smoking.

  6. by   nahjah
    [QUOTE=11:11]This is a pet peeve of mine. Those who smoke have no idea how strong the odor they carry with them is.

    I don't smoke, and who am I to tell others that they shouldn't smoke- we all know what it does to our bodies However, I agree with 11:11- what really bothers me is when people come back from break, reaking like smoke, and then go in and do patient care. :angryfire If I was a patient and was being taken care of by someone who smelled of stale smoke, I personally would ask to have another nurse take care of me because I can't stand the smell. That is just my opinion.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    glad and relieved to be an EX smoker. That said, it was the toughest thing I ever did:


    God speed and best wishes to those HUMAN beings (nurses included) who are fighting for their lives, trying to quit an addition that is likened to heroin in its tenacity.
  8. by   nesher
    No one I work with smokes and I am thankful for that as the smell is nausating. I can get on the bandwagon as a former smoker myself. I quit 6/25/1992 the week I started my BSN Program.
    I have no regrets.
    The way I did it was to pick a day. I picked June 25 and at the time ( in Feb) didn't know I would be starting school that week - it didn't matter. I went through all my "last " times - last time in the car, last time after dinner, last time... you know. So it a mind prep thing. By picking a date and sticking to it I was ready when the time came.
    You can do it and believe me the world becomes a different place when you are no longer controlled by your addiction.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    My supervisor smokes. She has her MSN in nursing, and you would think that somoene in those years of school, a light bulb would have went off on what she's doing to her own body.

    While i don't believe someone has the right (in a public place to a total stranger) to lecture on what someone is doing to their body, i WILL ***** when someone is smoking in a non-smoking area (my laundromat was a prime example, especially when i had to wash my scrubs there) because of what they're doing to MY body with THEIR habit.

    And let's be realistic here, if someone smokes, you know it, even if they do not have one lit up. You can smell it. It reeks. Any smoker who thinks that they don't smell of cigarettes because they do this, that, or whatever is kidding themselves. Think of this when you come in from break and go into a pt.'s room.

    And, yes, before it's asked, i did smoke, and i did quit. I never smoked in a restaurant, at work, or in anyone's home, i only smoked in my own car. Didn't even smoke in my own house, but you could still tell that i smoked by the smell. You cannot cover it up.
  10. by   Debbie_LPN
    WOW! Thank you all for the responses....keep em coming! I'm gald to hear that former smokers understand the dilemma on how hard it is to quit. I've been through it too: I'm quitting! This is my last one ever(about 50 million times!). I have been smoking for only 5 years. Yes, I know only 5 is as bad as 50. But I have noticed a drastic change to my body since I started: Can't hold my breath long while swimming, cough constantly, teeth/fingers are yellow, morning halitosis(never had it before i smoked), and bags under my eyes(I'm only 23 years old).

    I did quit for 2 days(yes to a smoker, that is an accomplishment), but it's hard when: husband, mom/dad, both younger brothers, and close friends ALL smoke.

    It will be REALLY hard, but I think I can do it in the near future.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Wellbutrin has worked for some folks.

  12. by   nesher
    Changing habits helps. If your family and friends smoke - stay away from them for a couple weeks.
    The first 2 weeks are the worst for the physical cravings, from then on it's all in your head baby...
  13. by   Debbie_LPN
    Quote from nesher
    Changing habits helps. If your family and friends smoke - stay away from them for a couple weeks.
    The first 2 weeks are the worst for the physical cravings, from then on it's all in your head baby...