Smoking practices among nursing students: a comparison of two studies

J Nurs Educ. 1989 Nov;28(9):397-401. doi: 10.3928/0148-4834-19891101-05.


Findings of numerous studies that have explored the smoking practices of nurses reveal a high incidence of smoking that is incongruent with the health beliefs of the profession. Nurses who smoke are less likely to teach or positively influence patients who smoke. They may even undermine health teaching efforts of other health professionals. Studies of smoking practices of nursing students also reveal high incidences of smoking. Included among the determinants of this practice are lack of knowledge of the health effects of smoking, the academic setting, and the role that nursing education may play. In this comparison of two independent studies similar in design, smoking rates were similar to that of the female population and to registered nurses. Students who smoke either started smoking or increased their smoking in nursing school. They knew the health hazards of smoking and most had tried to quit in the past. Challenging opportunities exist for nurse educators to study and implement strategies to prevent smoking initiation and encourage cessation among future nurses.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Nursing
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*