Smoking Rates Still Low for Most Health Care Professionals
Pattern persists with rates lowest in physicians (2 percent), highest in LPNs (25 percent)
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with 2006 to 2007, smoking rates among health care professionals for 2010 to 2011 continue to be lowest in physicians and highest in licensed practical nurses (LPNs), according to a research letter published in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on tobacco control.
Linda Sarna, Ph.D., R.N., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed public data to compare changes in the prevalence of smoking among health care professionals for 2003, 2006 to 2007, and 2010 to 2011.
According to the results of a 2010 to 2011 survey of 2,975 health care professionals, 8.34 percent reported being current smokers. The researchers note that current smoking rates were lowest in physicians (1.95 percent) and highest in LPNs (24.99 percent). Registered nurses were the only group with a significant decline in smoking rates for 2010 to 2011 (7.09 percent) compared with 2006 to 2007 (10.73 percent) or 2003 (11.14 percent).
"The majority of health care professionals continued as never smokers," the authors write. "In 2010 to 2011, current smoking among these health care professionals, excepting licensed practical nurses, was lower than the general population (16.08 percent)."
One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.