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Tobacco-Control Attitudes, Advocacy, and Smoking Behaviors of Oncology Nurses

Linda Sarna
Jean K. Brown
Linda Lillington
Mary Ellen Wewers
Mary-Lynn Becht
ONF 2000, 27(10), 1519-1530 DOI:
Purpose/Objectives: To describe oncology nurses' at­titudes, smoking behaviors, and involvement in to­bacco-control policy and legislation. 
Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional survey. 
Sample: Responses from 1,508 (38% return) of 4,000 randomly selected members of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). The typical respondent was female, age 44, a staff nurse, had practiced as an oncology nurse for 12 years, and was certified as an OCN. 
Methods: A mailed survey with specific questions about smoking status and the importance of nursing in­volvement in healthcare policy and legislation for to­bacco control. 
Main Research Concepts: Attitudes about tobacco­ control policies and legislation; sociodemographic, pro­fessional, and institutional variables; and tobacco use. 
Findings: The majority (85%) of members stated that nursing involvement in tobacco-control healthcare policy and legislation was important. More than 90% of respondents supported prevention of youth access to tobacco and providing information about health ef­fects of tobacco and cessation. Seven percent (n = 106) were current smokers. Significantly fewer smokers valued involvement in tobacco-control activities. Re­spondents with personal experience of tobacco-re­lated Illnesses were more likely to value Involvement In advocacy activities. Educational programs to prevent tobacco use among youth and to help patients stop smoking received the most support (80%). 
Implications for Nursing Practice: This sample of ONS members strongly supported involvement In tobacco ­control policies and legislation. Smoking was associated with more negative attitudes about the Importance of actively engaging in tobacco control. These oncology nurses recognized the need for additional educational programs to prevent tobacco initiation by youth. 

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