Nurses that Smoke

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    Profile photo of niyati66

    I have been a smoker for many years and have quit a couple times for pregnancies and such. Going into the field of nursing and completing school, after everything I have learned and know people still ask me how I can remain a smoker. What are your thoughts on nurses or any medical professional for that matter that smokes? Are we being hypocrites? Or do you feel the stress the profession can make it that much more difficult to quit?


    People say hypocrite as if it were a bad thing. While I don’t agree with pretending to be something you are not, and keeping some things about your life private is fine, we are expected to provide good health education to our patients. I’ve told many gallbladder patients to avoid ultimate cheeseburgers, but that never stopped me from eating them myself, even when my gallbladder went bad. I’ve told people not to mix their sleeping pill with other sedatives, such as alcohol, but they sure do work better if you do mix them 😉

    If it makes you feel better to preface your education with a do as I say, not as I do comment, go ahead, but what you do in your own life isn’t the concern of the patient, but what the patient does in his/her life is your concern as the nurse who is providing health education.

    It was several years ago, so I’m not sure if it is still true, but at the time the profession with the number one ratio of smokers was respiratory therapy, and nurses were close behind. I encourage people to stop smoking all of the time. I also encouraged them in the past when I used to smoke myself. Telling patients not to smoke is part of the job.

    You know why you should quit, so I won’t go there, but don’t think that just because you smoke prevents you from telling others not to smoke. Good luck.

    Profile photo of niyati66

    You make a very valid point that this is not limited to just smoking advice. As nurses we will be providing education on multiple facets and is our job to promote good health, even if we choose in our personal life to not always follow our own advice 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!


    I don’t agree about it being a hypocrite to tell patients not to smoke and then smoke. That’s not the point I’m trying to get across when I wonder why health professionals can see the potential damage they are doing, but continue the behavior anyway. Absolutely do what you want to do. It is your job to educate others on healthier lifestyles. You do not HAVE to do what you preach, but why wouldn’t you want to? THAT’s my line of thinking.

    Addiction or habits are hard to break. I, myself, have a caffeine problem. I moderate my intake since I went into SVT last year, but I keep on top of it. At any rate, continued the patient advocacy, but don’t forget to take care of yourself as well.

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