trying to free my mind." Wasting Time, Kid Rock
Based on my limited experience, folks in health care seem to do more than their share of drinking and smoking. Of the CNA's that I regularly work with, I'm the only one who doesn't smoke. And drinking stories abound, especially after payday.
It is a stressful job, no doubt about it. The chance for physical injury is far higher than it would be if we worked sitting behind a desk. (Unless you call getting fat and out of shape a physical injury.) Like any "customer service" job, you have to take flak from both the customers and the bosses. But the ratio of smokers to non smokers in the rest of the world is not 7:1 like it is amongst my peers.
I'm not holding myself above the rest. I do my share of drinking. It just seems to me that if our job is caring for people, we ought to care for ourselves. While someone will replace us if we can't work anymore because we've smoked and drank ourselves into oblivion, the level of care diminishes while the newbies get their feet wet.