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Free Content Smoking habits and attitudes toward tobacco bans among United Kingdom hospital staff and students

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SETTING: A group of United Kingdom (UK) hospitals.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the current smoking habits of health care professionals (HCPs) in a country with active tobacco control measures, and to record their attitudes to national and hospital tobacco bans.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of 500 HCPs.

RESULTS: HCPs reported a lower rate of current smoking (7%) than the general population (24%). Doctors (2.6%) and medical students (3.8%) were less likely to be current smokers than both nurses (8.7%) and allied health professionals (10.9%, P < 0.001). The vast majority felt national legislation had been effective (88%) and well complied with (82%). Around a third of respondents believed the ban had led to a reduction in admissions for acute coronary syndrome. Almost all respondents were in favour of restrictions on smoking in health care premises. A higher proportion of UK doctors (69%) than nurses (52%) favoured a complete ban (odds ratio 2.01, 95% confidence interval 1.14–3.56).

CONCLUSION: Self-reported smoking patterns in UK health professionals are lower than previously and compared to other industrialised and developing countries. Support for bans is very high, but differences remain in behaviour and especially attitudes to local bans according to professional status, although this gap is also narrowing.
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Keywords: bans; doctors; health care professionals; nurses; smoking

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: School of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, UK; Prince Philip Hospital, Hywel Dda Health Board, Llanelli, UK 2: Prince Philip Hospital, Hywel Dda Health Board, Llanelli, UK 3: Mynydd Mawr Hospital, Hywel Dda Health Board, Llanelli, UK

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

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