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Psychiatric nurses’ knowledge and practices towards patients’ tobacco-related habits in mental health hospitals in Greece


The aim of this study was to identify (a) nurses’ knowledge towards patients’ smoking habits (b) nurses’ beliefs towards psychiatric patients’ smoking practices and (c) nurses’ attitudes and practices.

Materials and methods

A questionnaire based study was contacted among psychiatric nurses working on two major psychiatric hospitals. The total sample consisted of 125 psychiatric nurses (4-year education in a faculty of nursing of Technological Educational Institute) which represents the 48% of licensed nurses working full-time.


Various practices were noted among nurses concerning the assessment of patients’ smoking history, passive smoking, smoking habits and cessation plans. The majority of nurses (56.0% yes, 28.0% sometimes) noted that psychiatric patient should be handled differently. They stated that smoking cessation may exacerbate psychiatric symptoms (38.0% yes, 62.0% sometimes) and may lead to an illness relapse (46.0% yes, 44.0% sometimes). Nurses had some knowledge about the health effects of smoking and they feel responsible to help patient quit smoking.


To our knowledge this is the first attempt to describe tobacco-related knowledge and practices among psychiatric nurses in Greece. The findings indicated that half of psychiatric nurses smoke in their work environment and are against the application of the anti-smoking law in psychiatric hospitals. They believe that psychiatric patients should be handled different from other patients even though they are aware of the dangers of smoking.

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Correspondence to Theodore Stathopoulos.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Koukia, E., Stathopoulos, T. Psychiatric nurses’ knowledge and practices towards patients’ tobacco-related habits in mental health hospitals in Greece. Tob. Induced Dis. 12, A27 (2014).

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  • Smoking Cessation
  • Technological Educational
  • Smoking Habit
  • Psychiatric Symptom
  • Smoking History