NHS smoking dilemma

Threats of disciplinary action against staff who flout new NHS smoking bans have divided nursing unions. The Royal College of Nursing has said it was pleased that some trusts were implementing blanket bans covering all hospital grounds and staff vehicles, but Unison has called for smoking facilities to continue to be provided in some trusts. Nursing Standard, 12 December

Breast cancer linked to stale smoke

Passive smoking increases the risk of developing breast cancer, according to a report in the International Journal of Cancer. Long-term regular exposure to passive smoking was associated with an overall 27% increased risk of breast cancer among women who had never smoked (Int J Cancer 2005;117:619-628). Nursing Times, 5 December

Alcohol rubs are safe

Alcohol-based hand rubs can be used long-term by nurses with little risk of skin problems, according to a study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. The authors estimated there was just one cutaneous adverse reaction for every 72 years of healthcare worker exposure (AAC 2005;49:4404-4405). Nursing Times, 28 November

CPD correction

Some of the answers in the December issue of Occupational Health’s Learning for Life quiz were incorrect. (page 28). The right answers were: 1) d, 2) b, 3) c, 4) b, 5) c, 6) d, 7) a, 8) c, 9) b, 10) b. Apologies for any confusion caused.

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