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Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 Jun;13(6):479-86. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr030. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

The motivators and barriers to a smoke-free home among disadvantaged caregivers: identifying the positive levers for change.

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  • 1UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.



The aims of this study were to explore home smoking behaviors and the motivators and barriers to smoke-free homes among a group of disadvantaged caregivers for young children and to identify the positive levers that health care professionals can utilize when supporting smoking behavior change.


In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted between July and September 2009, with 22 disadvantaged smoking caregivers, accessing Children's Centre Services in Nottingham, UK. Interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were coded and analyzed thematically to identify emergent main and subthemes.


Caregivers had some general understanding of the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS), but their knowledge appeared incomplete and confused. All interviewees described rules around smoking in the home; however, these tended to be transient and fluid and unlikely to be effective. Caregivers were often living in difficult and complex circumstances and experienced significant barriers to creating a smoke-free home. The motivators for change were more strongly linked to house decor and smell than children's health, suggesting that visible evidence of the harm done by SHS to children might help promote smoke-free homes.


Findings suggest that further tailored information on the effect of SHS is required, but to instigate caregiver behavior change, providing demonstrable evidence of the impact that their smoking is having on their children's health is more likely to be effective.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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