Supporting Parents Living in Disadvantaged Areas of Edinburgh to Create a Smoke-Free Home Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): A Two-Phase Qualitative Study

Rachel O’donnell, Grace Lewis, Colin Lumsdaine, Giovanna Di Tano, Liz Swanston, Gillian Amos, Anne Finnie, Neneh Rowa-dewar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) in the home is largely associated with socio-economic disadvantage. Disadvantaged parents face specific challenges creating a smoke-free home, often caring for children in accommodation without access to outdoor garden space. Existing smoke-free home interventions largely fail to accommodate these constraints. Innovative approaches are required to address this inequality. In this two-phase study, we engaged with parents living in disadvantaged areas of Edinburgh, Scotland, to explore tailored approaches to creating a smoke-free home and develop and pilot-test an intervention based on their views and preferences. In Phase 1, qualitative interviews with 17 parents recruited from Early Years Centres explored alternative approaches to smoke-free home interventions. In Phase 2, an intervention based on parents’ views and preferences was pilot-tested with parents recruited through Early Years and Family Nurse Partnership centres. Seventeen parents took part in an interview to share their views/experiences of the intervention. Data from both study phases were thematically analysed. Phase 1 findings suggested that parents associated nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) with quit attempts but supported the idea of NRT use for temporary abstinence to create a smoke-free home, viewing this as a safer option than using e-cigarettes indoors. In Phase 2, 54 parents expressed an interest in accessing NRT to create a smoke-free home, 32 discussed NRT product choice during a home visit from a smoking adviser, and 20 collected their free NRT prescription from the pharmacy. NRT was used for up to 12 weeks in the home, with ongoing advice available from pharmacy staff. During qualitative interviews (n = 17), parents self-reported successfully creating a smoke-free home, quitting smoking, and reduced cigarette consumption, often exceeding their expectations regarding changes made. The intervention was acceptable to parents, but the multi-step process used to access NRT was cumbersome. Some participants were lost to this process. Parents living in disadvantaged circumstances may benefit from access to NRT for temporary abstinence in the home to assist them to protect their children from SHS exposure. Further research using a more streamlined approach to NRT access is required to determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of this approach
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7305
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2020


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