Factors related to nurses smoking behavior



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Nurses, as the largest professional group in healthcare, have tremendous influence in the promotion of health, particularly as it relates to smoking. Smoking is considered to be the most important avoidable cause of chronic ill health in the world and several studies have found that many nurses smoke; which not only places their own health at risk, but also the publics (Piko, 2002; Hawkins, White & Morris, 1982; Booth & Faulkner, 1986). The purpose of this research was to describe nurses’ experiences with smoking as well as describe their smoking behavior in relation to demographics and socio-psychological influence. The relationship between smoking and the nurses’ perceived role in health promotion was also described in this research.

The theoretical framework for this proposed study is Simmons (1990) Health Promotion Self Care System Model (HPSCSM). This model integrates the constructs of Pender’s Health Promotion Model, Orem’s Self-care Deficit Theory and Cox’s Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior.

The study design was descriptive correlational. A convenience sample of 196 nurses employed in a variety of patient care settings within an urban medical center was used for this study. Data collection included a revised version of the Oncology Nurses and Tobacco Control Survey (Sarna, et al., 2000). Descriptive and inferential statistics that include Chi Square analysis was used to address four research questions.

The description of nurses’ experiences with smoking in this sample showed that 68 (34.7%) reported that they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and 39 (19.9%) reported current smoking. Among the demographic factors, the level of nursing education was positively correlated with current smoking behavior. Among the socio-psychological factors, stress was rated highest in importance by current smokers. More non-smokers and former smokers, compared to current smokers, felt positively about nurses serving as role models by not smoking.