Why do you smoke?

  1. Hey, for all the nurses and even staff, how come you still smoke? I work on a cardiac wing in the hospital and to this day I'm surprised at how some nurses and ancilllary staff try to make time to go downstairs and smoke. Even at the expense of cutting on their own break time to eat and etc. Yes, I am aware that it is an addiction and will never know to the degree of being in another smokers shoes, but at some point you do realize that this WILL kill you in some shape or form. I'm even amazed that there are residents and doctors that still smoke right by our hospital! What the hell. I understand the stresses of nursing and that cigarettes can maybe help alleviate this, I get it. At some point they will have to realize will it be worth it when the smoking eventually erodes their health. Just my thoughts, what are yours?
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    About Grobyc82

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 57; Likes: 85
    from NJ , US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Hygiene Queen
    I started smoking when I was 14. It was a full blown habit by the time I was 20.

    We always knew it was bad, but it wasn't as frowned upon as it is today. You could legally buy a pack of smokes at 16. In high school, there was a spot where kids regularly smoked by the gym doors. We could smoke in the drivers ed cars if we were 16 and could still drive straight with one hand and a Marlboro in the other. It was what we did in social situations and it was pleasant. I blame no one but myself, however. I was young and stupid.

    Now, at 47, I have tried to kick the habit multiple times (including this past weekend). No success. I know what my fate will be, but as much as it worries me, I'm like the krokodil junkie that will still inject a filthy toxin into my body even though my flesh is rotting off. My brain knows it's bad but the addiction is wicked.

    I've managed to cut down by crocheting like mad. I just finished a set of kitchen curtains, ha ha. It keeps my hands and brain occupied so I don't smoke as much, but I know it's not good enough.

    I never slipped out of work for constant smoke breaks because that's inexcusable. However, I did, indeed, forgo my dinner for a quick puff. I admit it.

    So, I agree it's bad, but once that demon gets you... it's got you good. I'm sure most of those smokers have tried to quit many times, but it ain't easy.
  4. by   Grobyc82
    I have someone close to me thats trying to kick the habit himself. He's been on the patch, chantix ect ect.. It must be hard once you started on an early age as he did. It just becomes a habit, and ritual much like getting a cup of coffee in the morning. Its good that you've managed to cut down using crocheting. some people replace the habit with gum and other things to preoccupy with mild success. Anthing that can help I guess.
  5. by   37changes
    I think, if you want to truly understand this addiction, you should dive deeply into the research of what it does to your brain -- neurotransmitters etc.

    Those who were not raised in a household of smokers, were not possibly carried in a womb of a mother who smoked, and who did not begin smoking at an early age while the brain is still developing, cannot possibly imagine the struggle one goes through when they attempt to quit, or do quit.

    Can it be done? Of course it can. People do it every day. Do they remain the same person they are when they were smoking? Absolutely not.

    Many will turn to addictions of another nature. Whether that be food, alcohol, shopping, gambling, exercise, you name it -- they're going to get that boost of dopamine from somewhere.

    "It's hard" ... does not begin to cover it. If, for just a minute, you can imagine what it would feel like to *lose who you are* and turn into some other person -- whom you may or may not like very much -- then you may be able to begin to understand.

    Smokers are self-medicating. It has side effects, just like every other drug. And with every drug, each individual must weigh the pros & cons. I can assure you there is an almost daily weighing in the mind of every smoker. And on that day that you see them outside, in that moment, they've decided that the benefit outweighs the risk. Perhaps someday, something will change their minds. But one thing is for sure: no one is going to change their minds FOR them.

    It may not make one bit of sense to you -- and if that's the case, count yourself blessed. That means you have not had experience with this particular struggle. And your body is thankful.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    I smoked two packs a day for 10 years. I didn't start until I was 23 (stupid...stupid...stupid), but I loved everything about smoking---handling the cigarette, lighting it, drawing in that first wonderful puff. Naturally, being an asthmatic, this didn't go over too well with my lungs, and I bounced in and out of doctor's offices and the ER with exacerbations, not to mention bronchitis and pneumonia. One ER physician told me I would be dead by 40 if I kept it up; that was enough to make me quit for five months. I tried quitting several more times, all to no avail.

    I was finally successful when I became pregnant with my last child 27 years ago. Cigarette smoke was the only thing that made me ill, so I had no choice but to quit. I stayed quit this time, and have never smoked cigarettes since (we won't talk about other "herbs"). I'm so glad that I did stop...no nicotine fits while waiting to get off the airplane so I could run through the terminal and get outside to smoke, no going out in the cold and damp and huddling miserably under the eaves. Even my asthma went back under the rock where it hides and I've only had a few major exacerbations in the years since.

    But I will always sympathize with smokers, because I know the struggle is real. Smoking is frowned on a lot more now than it was back then, and the social stigma smokers bear nowadays must be difficult to deal with.
  7. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    I currently work with a pulmonology and critical care physician who smokes. He says the stress of running the ICU makes it next to impossible for him to quit. When I was still a floor RN, I worked with an RT that had lung cancer and he was still smoking. My own husband had stopped smoking for 17 years but picked it back up when he opened his own pharmacy 5 years ago I can't get him to stop either.
  8. by   Workitinurfava
    I have never smoked but my dad did, for 20 years. He passed away from prostate cancer. I am surprised it wasn't lung cancer. He would always make bets with us that he would quit but he never fully did. Of course it is a hard habit to break. You become addicted and when the stresses of life hit you, you want something to help relieve it. I sympathize with you smokers but I hope one day you will be able to stop because the end result, usually isn't good.
  9. by   NurseCard
    MAN, do I feel downright blessed that I never got addicted to those
    vile things. And the crazy thing is... I TRIED. I tried smoking a few
    times. Never got addicted. Never could tolerate inhaling, so I suppose
    that is why I never got addicted.

    I fight another addiction though, that is for sure... Food! Especially
  10. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    We are nurses so don't put this in a lack of awareness sort of paradigm. We do know it will kill us. Worse than that it will decrease our quality of life. However, I think for some of us nursing breeds a sort of fatalism and we all know we are gonna die. Smoking takes about 10 years off a lifespan so if I miss the dementia and diaper years I'd be OK with that