Smokers - page 4

Just wondering if anyone knows why so many of us nurses smoke??? Couldn't be the STRESS could it?? At all of the places I've worked, almost all the nurses smoked, including me. Seems kind of odd... Read More

  1. by   KC CHICK
    nurse4kids, sorry to get you so riled up.
    Personally, I rarely drink. However, I was simply trying to show that there are restrictions placed on more "vices" than just cigarrettes. thisnurse's implication was that smokers are the only ones who's lives are disrupted by other peoples' rules. That is not the case.


    PS: Although I rarely drink, Ive been putting up wallpaper for about 4 hrs...........I may have one tonight.
  2. by   thisnurse
    no kc, you are wrong. that is NOT my implication. i am SAYING, not implying, that today my rights are being taken away. tomorrow its going to be YOURS.
    my beef is MANDATING BEHAVIOR..not smokers being targeted, tho we are right NOW. once the dogooders get their way what will they turn to next? the logical selection would be drinking.
    donmurry...i didnt add this:
    "If a child is bothering you (in public) politely say something........or go somewhere else."
    because i thought that was ridiculous advice. i am NOT the one causing the problem behavior, the parents are. and i am NOT the only one affected by a screaming child. the PARENTS have the responsibility to remove that child...not me and certainly not other patrons. i could well say to YOU that if my smoking bothers you then leave but thats not really right in the same context is it?

    as far as restrictions on drinking. yes you cant drink and drive. WHERE you can DRINK is mandated but where you can be DRUNK is not. you can say that public intoxication is against the law and it is, but how often do you see that enforced say at concerts or ball games? drinking is ENCOURAGED at events like this.

    we can argue the smoking issue forever and a day.
    eventually smoking will be banned all over. i know this but you non smokers wont be able to breathe any easier. the dogooders are going to be looking for you next.

    consider the seatbelt law. was this necessary?
    we all know that seatbelts save lives. did we NEED a law to tell us this? the dogooders seemed to think so. if the public wont help themselves we will MAKE them. are those who dont wear seatbelts wearing them now because its the LAW? maybe a few but i doubt the majority.
    this is the kind of legislation mandating behavior that i am talking about. we give up our rights for our "own good". this is big brother mentality. i might not make the right choices but i think i should retain the RIGHT to make them for MYSELF.

    as for the smoking vs drinking issue...i am only comparing the two because they are both behaviors that are "bad for us". in california you cant smoke anywhere in public but you can buy beer by the CAN in ANY gas station or 711. they dont want you to smoke in public but they encourage drinking and driving.

    say what you will, rationalize away. ill smoke or not smoke where i am/am not permitted. i will still take the same amount of breaks because NONE of us should ever work straight thru without them. its dangerous for us and dangerous for the patients.
    when i stop smoking this will still be an issue with me. i am so against mandated behavior and i cant stand the minority making decisions for the "good" of us all.
  3. by   Q.
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    i am so against mandated behavior and i cant stand the minority making decisions for the "good" of us all.
    I am with you thisnurse; just promise not to flick your butts at my head while I'm on the bike!

    And you too Tracy!
  4. by   JMP
    Smoking is gross. Everyone knows it- no one is trying to say it is anything other than dirty and REALLY bad for you.

    The tobacco companies have had to make huge settlements to government- the money should go towards prevention. I wrote many papers in school about smoking cessation and clearly it starts with prevention. Target kids 8 to 10. Once teens start, they think it is cool and of course..........they will never get sick and IF they do- if will be when they are " really old, like 45 or even 50". They beleive that when you are "that old", who cares anyways? If you do make it past 50 and get to be 60 the last 20 or so years are spent breathless- with O2 tanks and the grey skin of COPD staring back at you. Everything becomes a challenge.

    No, I don't smoke. Smoking CAN NOT be compared to perfume, too many donuts, drinking beer or any other defensive response you can come up with. It is in a class all by itself. It is a poision....... and everytime you smoke you are slowly poisioning the enivroment, people around you and yourself. However, it is a powerful addiction. And people need to justify it somehow.

    I have watched many people die from COPD, lung cancer with mets to the brain. I have watched many people suffer through nights when they could not get their breath, soaked bedclothes, coughing up blood and EVERYONE of them wished they had never started smoking.

    For those of you who do smoke- please consider quitting. I understand it is hard, but if you care about yourself, your loved least think about it. I have a close friend who is also a nurse and works in a palliative care unit. She smokes. She wishes she did not. She has tried to quit. I try to support her desire to quit. She feels it is due to stress. I think she is right.

    I know some will find my message hard to take. But all I ask is you think about quitting........ make a plan.
  5. by   NurseDennie
    I HAVE to put my two cents in on this one!

    My mother smoked heavily when I was a little kid. She also died at age 37 of lung cancer - she actually died at home when her aorta "blew." It was very impressive. Of the six children, FOUR of them smoke. I'm not one of them. But I'm not on an anti-smoking crusade (most antismoking crusades translate out as anti-smokER even if that's not how it's meant).

    When my best friend in the world hurt herself at work and her right leg was was paralyzed for months, my daughter called me an enabler and was angry at me that I'd pick up cigarettes for her when I was doing her grocery shopping. What???? Okay, my daughter is 18 and she's a bit judgmental and kids that age are pretty much "into" black and white issues, but I got that 'tude from a bunch of people. In this case, this is a woman that I bonded with - I can't explain it, but we love each other. She's annoying in a bunch of ways (and I'm not??) and the smoking is one of them. We can't go to the movies because she can't sit that long without a smoke, so we rent movies, whatever..... But for some reason, we bonded and we're stuck with each other.

    Now in my own home, I make my own rules. Nobody smokes in my house, no matter how glad I am to see them. I'll definitely sit outside with them whilst they smoke (I used to sit with my friend on the rare occasions I could take a break with her at work -- she's a much faster nurse than I and she's older - she's been at it a LOT longer!). But I'm sensitive to smells, I won't very often cook pork in my house, either.

    Before smoking was outlawed inside work buildings, I suffered through the co-workers who chain smoked, and I hated it! Going home and opening my purse was an ordeal - that smell just rolled out.... One time when I had a bad cough (yes, I tend to be "chesty." Would that have happened if I hadn't been exposed to cigarette smoke at an early age? Who knows?). I kind of was beside myself and I said to him "I don't see how you can put those things in your mouth - I'm in the next cubicle and it's killing me!" and he literally was so shocked and astonished that instead of coming around one cubicle wall, he stood on his desk (prairy-dog sticking his head up over the cube wall) and asked if it really bothered me. Honestly, it was the first time it had occurred to him - he was almost stunned! But once he found out, he made a lot of changes in his habits in order to make me less uncomfortable. Go figure!!! I'm sure if I'd said something earlier, I would have stopped suffering earlier!

    I didn't want to marry someone who smoked (my choice), and so my hubby quit before we were married. His choice - he wanted to marry me. But he started again a couple of times (I didn't divorce him over that). He has been a former smoker since I got pregnant with my 18 year old. But when he gets on the phone, I sometimes see his hand go to that shirt pocket, where he used to keep his cigarettes almost 20 years ago!

    I hate driving along and seeing all the butts that collect along the sides of the streets - ick! Some people here are really tacky and will open up their car doors and empty their ashtray from their car in the parking lot - even at the grocery stores!! There's not a lot more nauseating than when that stuff is exposed to wet weather..... Ewwwwwww

    Long, rambling, disjointed post here. I agree that some smokers will try to take more breaks for their smoking. The conscientious people don't. My preceptor smoked exactly three times during her 12 hour shift. My best friend will take more breaks if she can work it, and she smokes one right after the other during her break. If you feel like you are picking up too much slack for someone who is off smoking, then say something! Holding resentment against your co-workers is never profitable.

    I also encourage everyone to stop smoking. I read once that cigarettes are the only product on the market that, when used exactly as they are designed and sold to be used, are poisonous and sicken and kill people. I also think that probably cigarettes cause more human misery than other things that are a lot less legal. But that's just me. I lost my mother when I was a pre-teen and had to raise five younger brothers and sisters and none of us is untouched by that.

    Do you find the fact that I tend to post very long posts, and I overuse the parenthetical comment to be annoying?


    Last edit by NurseDennie on Jan 21, '02
  6. by   Q.
    I agree JMP - I think donuts and things that clearly affect only YOU are in a class by itself compared to smoking. When my inlaws smoke in their car, and we are sitting in there with the windows barely cracked open because it's 10degrees out in Northern Wisconsin, I literally get sick to my stomach. The stink stays on my clothes and hair and it's just really horrible to breathe. I swear it's in my mouth and effects my sense of taste. It's truly a digusting habit. And I despise when smokers smoke in the NONsmoking section. WHY???? WE'VE had to leave restaurants as a result. How is that fair?

    I don't believe in mandating behavior but for god's sake, if you smoke, please consider that it DOES effect others, no matter what you do. That smoke permeates into EVERYTHING and you can't hide the smell, no matter how many breath mints or how much Febreeze you use. If you overeat, that doesn't affect me at all. And your bad breath doesn't stick to my clothes.

    I don't care WHO smokes or why, it's a choice. But I just wish ALL smokers would smoke ONLY in the smoking section, and not throw butts out so they go bouncing off me or my car. Or smoke right outside the entrance to a building so I have to walk through it. Or yes, empty their ashtrays right outside on the street. I've seen countless piles of nasty butts in the parking lot. If you smoke, and you have no desire to quit, I IMPLORE you to stop with those behaviors.

    I'm off my soapbox now.
  7. by   kellysue
    where i work, i get 2 15 min breaks and one 30 lunch...and that is when i take my smoke breaks!
  8. by   GPatty
    I get kind of angry too about smoking because other students will come up to me and ask me to watch their patients while they go downstairs and out side to have a cig... why don't they ask me if I want to go drink a soda when they come back? That's the only part that really gripes me! They get two to three extra breaks a day because of smoking!
    And at work, I smell like an ashtray because ALL the other girls I work with smoke! I had such a horrific headache Saturday night, that I had to beg the nurse for two aspirin! All because of cigarette smoke...
    I quit about 4 yrs ago. Maybe that's why I am so sensitive to it. I just hate it anymore!
    My two cents...
  9. by   Michelle_nurse
    I think the point we are trying to make is that, smoking is BAD for you. This is not a debate about who are better nurses: non smokers or smokers. I don't think ALL smokers should be grouped together. Generally speaking, it is wrong for someone to light a cigarette while in a small bus shelter in the middle of a blizzard! It is cold and windy and I deserve to be sheltered as I breathe normally. Why should I stand outside??? I have had to do it a few times.

    I think most smokers make it more of an urgency to take breaks and some take way too long or too many. I am not addicted to anything, so I don't leave my pts on another nurse, to satisfy my cravings.

    No one is perfect, if it is not smoking, it could be drinking, gambling, whatever.......the subject at hand is SMOKING, so we are not saying drinking and driving is a fine thing to do.

    I don't care if others smoke or not, (unless your someone that I care about), die if you want, and do whatever you want on your break.
    I don't care, just don't blow smoke near me or AT ME! and don't take advantage of your addiction and make me watch your pt.
    I am not saying that ALL smokers do this, just a lot of them.

    I do think that a lot of smokers get defensive towards non smokers about smoking, probably cause they wish they could break the habit. Also I hate the excuse, "I'll die of something someday anyway"

    I saw my grandfather die of lung cancer when I was 15. He suffered so much, obviously this is a consequence that some people don't care to think about.........suffering and death. I can only be thankful, that his illness is a big reason of why I am a nurse today. My mom smoked for 20 years and quit cold turkey the day he was diagnosed. Just goes to show you that where there is a will there is a way.
  10. by   JMP

    I agree with you. Sometimes it just needs to be said, clearly and without clutter.

    When there is the will- there is ALWAYS a way.

    Everyone needs to find their own way.......... come out of the smoke filled "but-huts" and see the is out there.

    Call your local health unit and find out all the MANY different ways are are available to stop smoking......make a PLAN.

    Do it for will thank yourself in the years to come!
  11. by   mario_ragucci
    Lol, this is a great thread.

    If it's really cold outside, how could you enjoy a cigarette? If someone came into a shelter and lit up a cigarette in freezing weather Iy'd laugh and step out the booth, because it's totally rude and everyone knows that. Of course, this can depend on my mood. If I feel more interactive, Iy'd ask them if they are aware of their rudeness, but I'd probably get told to be quiet because when people are bent, you can't change'em. Right?

    See, if I had someone take an extended break on me, then I would feel compelled to take one on them. Now we have a problem. You hafta call people on their behavior. Thats your responsibility, although it shouldn't be that way. If someone takes 1.5x, or 2x the alloted break time, then say, "hey, what is the deal here?" If they give you the cold shoulder, as is often the case with many introverted individuals (who shouldn't be nurses to begin with [my opinion]), keep on it. Fair is fair, and abuse is abuse. Talk it out; be brave! People are a wonderful species with all different kinds of personalities. Get to know them all!

    As far as smoking being bad for you, please. There are plenty of stumps here in the Pacific Northwest if you wanna get on one :-)
  12. by   Bobrn
    A few questions for smokers:

    1)Why do you smoke?

    2)Do you want to quit?

    If the answer to #2 is No, then..

    3)Why not?

    I smoked for ten years. Quit three times, hardest thing I ever did. Then I dipped! Met a patient in school who had a radical neck dissection with a trach for cancer, most likely related to a tobacco habit (dipping!). I thought to myself, No neckie-ectomies for me! I quit dipping. Also took three times.

    I also don't drink much.Why? I flush after a few drinks (turn red) and my head pounds away. I don't dig that.

    Why did I quit smoking? My denial of the dangers of smoking wore off. And yes, you can be in denial while having the knowledge of the dangers of smoking. The biggest problem was, learning how to deal with stress in a different ways, and developing different coping behaviors. No more "I had a bad day" and run out and smoke. What did I do to deal with stress? Some deep breathing exercises, and a ton of exercise! I spent more time playing music (guitar and most stringed instruments) as well. Spending half a day at the lake on a blanket reading a book.

    You can quit smoking, don't give me this "I can't quit" bs. But convincing you to quit smoking is where the true challenge lies.

    Remember, it takes the average smoker at least 5 attempts before they quit for good. Think of the money you can save, with rising cigarette pricess you can probably go on a cruise or two! Or invest it, or buy a nice toy, downpayment for a vehicle, etc etc etc.

    Oh, and when you answer my questions, (whether posted or just answer them to yourself), answer them with an open mind, and not in anger defense or hostility.
  13. by   victoreia
    Hmmmm I smoke. I take two breaks each day and sometimes three and I make up for it. I work long hard hours, I skip lunch sometimes or eat in what seems like seconds, I do not preach to smokers or non smokers about what wierd, bad, or what ever habits they have. I never leave a busy unit or leave any other nurses without ample assist on a floor. However I like a break, rather it be to smoke or just to get a moment of peace to put myself and my problems , if I have any, into prespective. If a nurse feels I have "abandoned" her to go have a smoke I would hope she or he would be adult enough to tell me and maybe we could work out a better time or compremise somehow. Smokers get slack. I think nurses spend time on the phone for personel reasons then out side smoking. Don't we all get a "break" one way or another?? And shouldn't we all?? Hey, here is a suggestion for non-smokers who don't think they get a break..... take one!! Vicki RN