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Br J Community Nurs. 2014 May;19(5):214, 216-8.

Protecting children from smoking in the home: an ethics of care perspective.

Author information

  • 1UKCTAS Research Fellow, CPHS, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2Honorary Fellow, Nursing Studies, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh.


Community nurses are uniquely placed to help protect child health by facilitating the creation of smoke-free homes. However, there are a number of perceived barriers that may concern community nurses in their role of supporting parents in the creation of smoke-free homes, particularly those faced by disadvantaged parents. Arguments against intervening within the private domain of the home focus on concerns about protecting parents' autonomy to smoke within their own home and the potential for stigmatising parents who smoke, particularly mothers. Drawing on an ethics of care perspective, the authors propose an alternative perspective to the intervention in private settings. An ethics of care perspective may help to justify and encourage parents and community nurses to work in partnership to create a healthy environment for children and decrease the likelihood of children becoming smokers in the future.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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