What helps and what hinders the creation of a smoke-free home: A qualitative study of fathers in Scotland

Rachel O’Donnell , Peter McCulloch , Lorraine Greaves, Sean Semple, Amanda Amos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few studies have explored fathers’ views and experiences of creating a smoke-free home, with interventions largely targeting mothers. This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to fathers creating a smoke-free home, to inform future intervention development.
Eighteen fathers who were smokers and lived in Scotland were recruited from Dads’ community groups, Early Years Centres and through social media advertising. Semi-structured interviews explored their views and experiences of creating a smoke-free home. A theory-informed thematic analysis using the COM-B model highlighted ways in which capability, opportunity and motivations shaped fathers’ home smoking behaviours.
Several fathers understood the health risks of second-hand smoke exposure through public health messaging associated with recent smoke-free legislation prohibiting smoking in cars carrying children. Limited understanding of effective exposure reduction strategies and personal mental health challenges reduced some fathers’ ability to create a smoke-free home. Fathers were keen to maintain their smoke-free home rules, and their motivations for this largely centred on their perceived role as protector of their children, and their desire to be a good role model.
Fathers’ abilities to create a smoke-free home are shaped by a range of capabilities, opportunities and motivations, some of which relate to their role as a father. Establishing a fuller understanding of the contextual and gender-specific factors that shape fathers’ views on smoking in the home will facilitate the development of interventions and initiatives that fathers can identify and engage with, for the broader benefit of families and to improve gender equity and health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Early online date10 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2021


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