The purpose of this study was to obtain baseline information on smoking among nurses. An attempt was made to contact, in person, all 301 nurses working for the university hospital in Sivas, Turkey, and when contacted they were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire. Each unit of the hospital was visited three times, and 239 (79%) nurses were reached who all completed the questionnaire. Of the 239 respondents, 107 (45%) were current smokers, reflecting a substantially higher prevalence compared to that among the adult female population. The quit ratio was 22.5%. Of 127 ever-smoker nurses who responded to the related item, 90% started smoking during or after nursing education. This pattern of smoking initiation was different from the pattern in developed countries where nurses had already started smoking before beginning that training. Nurses with a high school education had a significantly higher prevalence of ever-smoking. Most respondents frequently or sometimes saw doctors smoking in rooms for nurses and in rooms for doctors in inpatient services. In-depth qualitative studies are needed to determine the reasons for the different smoking-initiation pattern.