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Sociol Health Illn. 2009 Mar;31(2):185-200. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2008.01126.x. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Fathers' narratives of reducing and quitting smoking.

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1
Faculty of Health and Social Development, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada. joan.bottorff@ubc.ca

Abstract

Despite much attention on women's efforts to reduce or stop smoking during pregnancy and postpartum, less attention has been directed to fathers' experiences in modifying their smoking. Using narrative methods, interviews with 29 new fathers were examined to identify different ways in which men approached reducing or quitting smoking. Four storylines were identified: the cold turkey storyline framed quitting smoking as a snap decision with no need for support or smoking cessation aids; the planned reduction storyline focused on building up reasons to quit and developing detailed strategies to enhance the likelihood of success; the baby as the patch storyline dramatised how the baby displaced the need to smoke, increased motivation for cessation and enhanced success; and, finally, a story of forced reduction that highlighted difficulties with smoking cessation for a highly addicted smoker and the tension and conflict this created in his relationship with his partner. Common to all the storylines was the men's reluctance to rely on smoking cessation resources; instead, self-reliance, willpower, and autonomy figured more prominently in their narratives. The findings from this study support developing gender-sensitive tobacco reduction interventions for fathers who smoke.

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