Addictions like smoking are ruining Americans’ health and finances, according to a WalletHub report, The Real Cost of Smoking by State. Consider that 37.8 million people in the United States use tobacco.
At the individual level, tobacco costs the average smoker $123,308 during his or her lifetime, plus an average of $172,801 spent on health care-related expenses.
The report lists the states with the lowest smoking costs (Georgia) and the highest (Connecticut).
Nurses might find useful the input by three experts who describe effective strategies for quitting smoking and which approaches most commonly fail. These experts also address e-cigarettes, how legalization of marijuana is affecting tobacco use, and how state and local authorities can encourage quitting the smoking habit. Check out the report.
The truth is, nurses can wield clout when it comes to helping smokers put their addictions behind them. Stella A. Bialous, RN, DrPH, FAAN, stated this month in the ONS Voice, published by the Oncology Nursing Society, that nurses are positioned to educate patients and colleagues about the deadly outcomes of this addiction.
Bialous states, “Studies have shown that improved nursing education for smoking cessation increases the rate at which nurses encourage their patients to quit smoking.
Furthermore, integrating tobacco control education into nursing curricula also increased nurses’ level of awareness and empathy for patients who do smoke, potentially leading to further implementation of evidence-based guidelines for smoking cessation in the future.”
Nurses are highly trusted professionals. We, as image bearers of our Creator God, have every reason to advocate for healthy habits and to support the habit-changing yearnings of smokers and others addicted to detrimental practices.
Our own habits reflect our mindset about body care. God tells us that his glory is what matters in this matter. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV).
First Corinthians 6:19-20 is even more explicit: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies (NIV).”
We love, as nurses, to see that we’ve made a difference. Conquering our own craving or addiction or enabling another person to do so is one more way we demonstrate caring and show others God’s compassion for them also.