Are Pediatric ED Nurses Delivering Tobacco Cessation Advice to Parents?

Leslie Deckter, E. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens, Judith S. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Due to the adverse health effects of environmental tobacco smoke exposure in children, pediatric registered nurses (RNs) have frequent encounters with parents who smoke. RNs have a unique opportunity to provide tobacco cessation counseling to parental smokers during their child's ED or hospital visit. The purpose of this study was to assess pediatric RNs' levels of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding provision of tobacco cessation advice to parents who smoke. Methods: An anonymous electronic self-administered survey of current tobacco cessation practices and attitudes was sent to ED RNs (N = 130) at a tertiary care pediatric hospital in Ohio. Results: A total of 87 RNs (67%) completed the survey. Approximately 22% of respondents indicated that they assess parental smoking status, 14% encouraged parents who smoke to quit, and even fewer indicated that they provided specific counseling or assistance to their patients' parents. Perceived barriers to delivering tobacco cessation counseling included parent resistance, parent complaints, parent anger, and lack of parent materials. More than 60% of respondents agreed that they should learn new ways to help parents quit and advise parents who use tobacco to quit and that RNs can be effective in helping parents quit. Discussion: Pediatric ED nurses are unlikely to engage in tobacco cessation activities but express interest in learning new ways to help patients' parents quit smoking. Future education could promote tobacco cessation advice and assistance, thus improving the health of parents and patients in the pediatric setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-405
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Pediatric advice
  • Tobacco cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency


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