Factors that influence passive smoking in infancy: a study among mothers of newborn babies in The Netherlands.Prev Med. 2001 Mar; 32(3):209-17.PM
The aim of this study was to assess the factors that influence smoking in the presence of the infant by mothers, partners, other family members, and friends.
An observational study using questionnaires was performed with smoking and nonsmoking parents of babies between 1 and 14 months old attending Dutch well-baby clinics between February and May 1996. The main measures were prevention of passive smoking in children by mothers and the relation with self-reported attitudes, social influence, and self-efficacy.
A total of 1702 parents completed the questionnaire (63%). A total of 1551 questionnaires were completed by the mother. Sixty-five percent of the mothers prevented passive smoking by their child. This figure was 55% for smokers and 69% for nonsmokers. Attitude was the factor that most explained preventive behavior among both smokers and nonsmokers. Among the respondents, a lack of prevention of passive smoking was significantly related to (1) a negative attitude and 2) a negative social influence exerted by their partner, (3) lower self-efficacy in reducing passive smoking, and (4) increasing age of the child. (5) Finally, a lack of prevention is associated with the mother's self-efficacy in asking others not to smoke. This association strongly differs between smoking and nonsmoking mothers.
The results suggest that health education efforts should focus on attitude and self-efficacy, assuming that these precede actual behavior, and in particular on the health consequences of the exposure of young children to tobacco smoke. The information should not be restricted to parents of newborn babies; it should also focus on parents with older children. Particular attention should be paid to smokers with a low educational level. The results also indicate that education should strengthen the ability of nonsmoking parents to deal with smokers and the ability of smoking parents to deal with their own smoking behavior.