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Nurse Health: How Many Nurses Smoke?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, January 29th, 2015

Compared with 2007, smoking rates among health care professionals for 2011 continued to be lowest in physicians and highest in licensed practical nurses (LPNs), according to a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on tobacco control. What does this mean for nurse health?

Linda Sarna, Ph.D., R.N., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed public data to compare changes in the prevalence of smoking among health care professionals.

nurse healthAccording to the results of a 2010 to 2011 survey of 2,975 health care professionals, 8.34 percent reported being current smokers. The researchers note that current smoking rates were lowest in physicians (1.95 percent) and highest in LPNs (24.99 percent). Registered nurses were the only group with a significant decline in smoking rates for 2010 to 2011 (7.09 percent) compared with 2006 to 2007 (10.73 percent) or 2003 (11.14 percent).

“The majority of health care professionals continued as never smokers,” the authors write. “In 2010 to 2011, current smoking among these health care professionals, excepting licensed practical nurses, was lower than the general population (16.08 percent).”

As nurses we need to care for ourselves and role model that to others. Let’s support each other in stopping smoking.

To learn more ways to care for our bodies, minds and spirits and improve nurse health, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss this powerful program that brings SelfCare and work life balance to your facility.

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