How many of you smoke, and what........?

Nurses General Nursing


How many of you smoke, and what do you do to freshen your breath before going back to work (after a break) and how do you keep the tobacco smell off. Iv'e seen a lot of nurses and hospital employees smoking outside on breaks, just wondering.


648 Posts

I'm a non-smoker.

Some smokers are pretty discreet and may use oral care or gum or mouth sprays after smoking. I can say that I've known nurses who I was surprised to discover they were smokers.

Some do not.

Some patients who have asthma triggered by bronchospasm may notice even subtle smoke odor.

Interestingly, I asked a nurse at our local hospital (who serves on our local tobacco prevention coalition) if she knew what percentage of nurses smoked at our local hospital and she told me she recalled that nationally nurses smoke at about the same rate that the general public smokes, which runs about 23%, more or less in some regions of the country. Doctors smoke at a rate less than the general public, I believe, but nurses have kept pace with the prevailing trends. Go figure.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

as far as I can tell, there is NO way to "cover up" the smoke smell when one smokes at work. Gum, mints, brushing teeth, nothing. It just kinda stays w/them. If there were a way to refrain from smoking while doing patient care, I would highly recommend it cause as sensitive as I am to it, sick people are even MORE so. It just does not go away, sadly.


1,091 Posts

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

never did, don't and never don't know?

me :)


835 Posts

I smoke only if I'm on fire.


1,961 Posts

I like how the "and what..." looks at the end of your question in the thread title.

Like, "what are you smoking?"

But I wouldn't second guess the question considering the turn some of our threads have taken lately!

I haven't had a cigarette since Septmber or October of last year. Even when I did smoke, I never did it while at work. It's just not fair to make people smell it that don't want to.

I find that Altoids are indeed very powerful little mints. But they do little for the smell that lingers on your hands, clothes, and hair for hours no matter what you do to try and cover it.

Smoking stinks. Period.



428 Posts

Interesting...almost all of the nurses on our oncology floor where we get a lot of lung ca/head and neck cancers smoke like chimneys.

Specializes in Hospice/Homehealth/Homecare.

I haven't smoked sinceMarch when my best friend was diagnosed with lung ca. She quit because she couldn't breathe, I stoppedto be her buddy. I told her as long as she didn't smoke, I wouldn't. Before that I was a 3 pack a day marlboro menthol lights girl. I too did not smoke while at work==I did pedi private duty and it just wasn't a good message. AND BEFORE ANYONE JUMPS ON THE OLD 'YOU GOTTA QUIT FOR YOU' ROUTINE=== I pledged to not smoke as long as my friend didn't. I never said I was quitting!!! I loved to smoke, inspite of the risks.

jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

I quit about 4 yrs ago. I feel better. Period.

I hate the way smoking smells and I think it shouldn't be done around where patients can smell it on clothes or where ever...

Julie :)


238 Posts

Specializes in Hospice and Palliative Care, Family NP.

I quit smoking last November. I feel like a million bucks now, some very strange things were happening, my legs ached (I'm a nurse so I thought it was NORMAL) now they don't, and going up stairs about wore me out. Enough is enough, My husband smoked for a few more months after I did but outside. Now he quit, I notice I have alot more change in my pocket! LOL

It just stinks, plan and simple, I rarely if ever, smoked at work. I'm healthy and can't stand the smell, can you imagine how a sick person feels?

My father died of lung cancer (asbestos related) my sister is currently in hospice care d/t lung CA and my mother has a mass on her right lung, a broncho has been scheduled for the 6th. They all smoked, believe it or not, my sister STILL smokes when she can. Mom still does as well.

It's just a stupid, smelling disgusting habit, expensive and it will kill you.

Guess I better stop before I tick some people off, Nothing worse than a reformed smoker! LOL Sorry guys.


272 Posts

I only smoke at work and on the way to work - never on my days off. What do you suppose that means...


298 Posts

Specializes in surgical, neuro, education.

Haven't smoked since 1987. I had a student several years back--she was very good on clinical, top A's in class. I kept smelling alcohol on her breath whenever she was near me. At time my bro had just died after long history of substance abuse, so I did not want to lose student to drinking if possible. What it turned out to be was the breath drops she was using to cover up smoking breath. (it has ETOH in ingrediants) She changed to mints and the ETOH smell went away. (course she still smelled of smoke!!!)

As far as what is smoked, I won't get into that part of question.

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