Nurses, smoking, and the workplace


  • This work was performed at the School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, CA. The authors thank Dr. Leslie Cooper for conducting the focus groups, and Lisa Chang and Wendy Lohman for their assistance with the project. Special thanks to Ann Stall, Ellen Hahn, Lisa Greathouse, Michelle Gaguski, Chris Conner, and Carol Seavolt, the on-site focus group coordinators.


The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes and experiences of nurses regarding smoking and smoking cessation in the workplace. Eight focus groups were conducted with current or former smokers (n = 60). A questionnaire provided information about smoking history. Content analysis revealed six themes: taking breaks, stress and smoking, social support from colleagues, hiding smoking from patients and their families, impact of workplace smoking restrictions, and challenges to smoking cessation in the workplace. Nurses who smoke were perceived as taking more breaks and spending less time with patients than those who do not smoke. These findings document the impact of smoking among nurses in the workplace. Strategies are needed to support smoking cessation efforts of nurses as an important occupational health issue. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 28:79–90, 2005