Changes in Smoking Prevalences Among Health Care Professionals From 2003 to 2010-2011

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A recent study by UCLA shows smoking prevalence among health care professionals is down.

The Issue:

 

Smoking by health care professionals can make interventions with patients difficult by sending mixed messages. Thus, a decline in smoking not only benefits the health care professionals themselves, but the patients they treat as well. Among registered nurses, the percentage dropped by more than a third during the time period studied.

Key Findings

  • The proportion of registered nurses who smoke dropped from 11 percent to 7 percent from 2003 to 2010–2011.

  • The percentage of health care professionals who continue to smoke remains highest among the licensed practical nurses at 24.99 percent in 2010–2011.

Conclusion:

In the early portion of the study, from 2003 to 2006-2007, smoking prevalences among health care professionals demonstrated no significant declines. However, between 2003 and 2011 the proportion of registered nurses (RNs) who smoke dropped by more than a third. Continued smoking and diminished quitting among licensed practical nurses (LPNs) remains a serious concern.

About the Study:

The study used self-respondent data on health care professionals from the Tobacco Use Supplement for 2003 (n=3877), 2006–2007 (n=3870), and 2010–2011 (n=2975). Physicians, RNs, LPNs, pharmacists, respiratory therapists and dental hygienists were included and analyzed by smoking status: never smokers, former smokers and current smokers.

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