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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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1 in 4 HSE general support workers are smokers

A new report found a huge decrease in the numbers of nurses smoking.

Image: woman smoking via Shutterstock

A NEW STUDY shows that 25 per cent of general support workers in the HSE are smokers.

The report published in The Irish Medical Journal shows that while HSE staff are less likely to smoke than the general population, this simply doesn’t apply for general support staff.

The study states that “targeted interventions are required to support General Support and other patient and client care staff in smoking cessation”.

It states,

The smoking status of healthcare workers is important because they are seen as a model for patients and clients of the health services.

“With a smoking prevalence of 15 per cent, HSE staff are less likely to smoke than the population aged 18 to 65 with a rate of 24.2 per cent, but general support staff smoke just as much as the working population and do not seem to enjoy any protective benefit against smoking from working in the health sector.”

Quitting 

The study also found a huge decrease in the numbers of nurses smoking.

The estimated smoking rate amongst nurses is 11 per cent compared to 21 per cent and 22.5 per cent previously.

The report stated, “This difference may be explained by successful cessation, this audit found that 32.5% of nursing staff were ex-smokers.”

Under the HSE’s Tobacco Free Campus Policy, smoking will be prohibited within all HSE campuses by the end of next year.

The HSE said the smoking bans are encouraging a lot of staff to quit and the report found a strong trend for healthcare workers to quit. For every current worker who smokes, almost two have quit.

The study was carried out by the National Tobacco Office at the Department of Health, the Health Intelligence, Health, and Wellbeing Directorate at the HSE and the University of Limerick.

Over 1,000 HSE staff were selected for the study.

Read: Hospital smoking bans are being ignored>

Read: All hospitals to be smoke free campuses by end of 2015’ says HSE>

Read: US health report finds cigarettes are more dangerous than ever>

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