Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Reviews

Healthcare professionals should not smoke

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 01 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:0405219a
  1. Teresa Pun, first year medical student1
  1. 1University of Toronto, Canada

Last summer, I was happily stationed at a Toronto hospital, doing research for a neurosurgeon. I loved the work and I loved the hospital—the doctors were fabulous. Then, one of these prestigious individuals lit a cigarette. Wait a minute; was I the only one who found this odd? No one else seemed to care, certainly not the patients who were huffing and puffing alongside, or the colleague that came to join his friend a minute later.

To add a little spice, everyone entering a hospital is encouraged to wash their hands with antiseptic alcohol rinse. Healthcare professionals tend to re-wash when they exit as well. One such individual, a doctor, squeezed a healthy amount of alcohol gel into his palm, scrubbed briskly and decided that he wanted a smoke on his five minute break. He set his hands on fire.

In response to this sad display, I propose that healthcare professionals, especially doctors, be prohibited from smoking, or if they must smoke, they do so away from the hospital vicinity. How can …

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