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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Barbara Goddard


tobacco use among nurses, nurse job stress, cigarette habit


This study was designed to determine if there was a relationship between perceived job stress and cigarette smoking by RN's. At this time smoking represents a major public health problem, and smoking rates remain unacceptably high among nurses (Padula, 1992). The study involved completion of a survey that consisted of several parts including: demographic data, a smoking history, reasons for smoking, the Gray-Toft Nursing Stress Scale, and several open-ended questions. Two hundred nurses working in a hospital setting were approached by mail by the researcher and asked to participate in the study. RN's agreeing to participate returned completed copies of the Smoking Behaviors Questionnaire and the Gray-Toft Nursing Stress Scale to the researcher in a provided, stamped, addressed envelope. The specific research questions to be analyzed by the investigator included: (1) What is the stress level of nurses working on specific units? (2) What is the smoking behavior of nurses? (3) Do RN's who smoke perceive their stress levels to be higher than RN's who do not? (4) Is job stress, as a reason for smoking, related to the specific clinical area worked in most often? (5) Are smoking RN's attempting to quit smoking?
Descriptive statistics were used for the analysis of demographic data and the smoking history sections of the SBQ. Pearson Product Movement Coefficient and Chi-square analysis were used to assess relationships between the reasons for smoking section of the SBQ and the Gray-Toft Nursing Stress Scale.
The open-ended questions were analyzed for recurring themes. The themes found by the researcher were revised for reliability by three experts in the nursing field. Data analyses found that fourteen percent of RN's surveyed were currently smoking. This percentage is lower than those reported in earlier studies. The most frequently reported reason for RN's continuing to smoke was habit, and currently smoking RN's scored lowest in the Gray-Toft Nursing Stress Scale. Consequently, it is unclear if the currently smoking RN's use smoking to control their job stress or if they are truly under less job stress.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nurses -- Tobacco use
Nurses -- Job stress
Cigarette habit



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1994 Sandra Goehring. All rights reserved