Home > Smoking prevalence among qualified nurses in the Republic of Ireland and their role in smoking cessation.

O'Donovan, Geraldine (2009) Smoking prevalence among qualified nurses in the Republic of Ireland and their role in smoking cessation. International Nursing Review, 56, (2), pp. 230-236. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-7657.2008.00700.x.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of premature mortality, killing approximately 6000 people in Ireland each year. On 29 March 2004, the Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants. This study took place after the introduction of this smoking ban. An admission to hospital provides an opportunity to help people stop smoking. Nurses' role and wide availability puts them in a prime position to encourage people to quit smoking.

To examine the smoking prevalence among qualified nurses at a large university teaching hospital in Cork Southern Ireland and their role in smoking cessation.

This was a descriptive cross-sectional study using a calculated sample of 430 qualified nurses (with a 70% response rate). A structured questionnaire was used.

It was found that 21% (n = 63) of nurses were smokers, 23% (n = 70) were ex-smokers and 56% (n = 167) were non-smokers. The highest prevalence of smokers was found in the age groups 20-25 years (28%, n = 17) and 26-30 years (34%, n = 21). Nurses working within psychiatric care (47.4%) and coronary care (33.3%) had the highest smoking prevalence among the nurses who smoked. The study found that there was a significant difference between the attitudes of smokers and non-smokers, 89% (n = 211) of non-smokers strongly agreed that cigarette smoke represents a major risk to health in comparison with only 65% (n = 41) of smokers. Only 14% (n = 43) of the nurses surveyed had received training in smoking cessation. Lack of time (74%) and lack of training (65%) were the two main reasons given by nurses for not giving smoking cessation advice to patients.

Nurses' potential in preventive health care has been largely under-utilized. Lack of time and training are major factors inhibiting nurses' role in smoking cessation with their patients.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Identification #
DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-7657.2008.00700.x
Page Range
pp. 230-236
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
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