Syazmeen R, Latiffah Abd Rani N, Zulkifli A, Hernani Abd Latif N, Dobson R, Ibrahim TA, Semple S, Abidin EZ, Uny I & O’Donnell R (2022) Knowledge, beliefs and behaviours related to second-hand smoke and smoking in the home: a qualitative study with men in Malaysia. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntac239
Despite the health risks associated with second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure, smoking in the home is common in Malaysia, and almost exclusively a male behaviour. This study explored male smokers’ knowledge, beliefs and behaviours related to SHS exposure and smoking in the home, to guide future intervention development.
Twenty-four men who smoked and lived in Klang Valley, Kuantan or Kuala Terengganu took part in semi-structured interviews which explored knowledge and beliefs regarding SHS in the home, and associated home smoking behaviours. Data were managed and analysed using the framework approach.
There was limited knowledge regarding the health risks associated with SHS: the smell of SHS in the home was a more prominent concern in most cases. Many had no rules in place restricting home-smoking, and some suggested that smoking in specific rooms and/or near windows meant SHS was not ‘shared’ with other household members. A few fathers had created but not maintained a smoke-free home prior to and/or after their children were born. Desire to smoke in the home conflicted with men’s sense of responsibility as the head of the household to protect others and set a good example to their children.
Men’s home-smoking behaviours are shaped by a lack of understanding of the health risks associated with SHS exposure. Gaining a broader understanding of the factors that shape men’s decisions to create a smoke-free home is important to facilitate the development of culturally-appropriate interventions that address their responsibility to protect other household members from SHS exposure.
Our findings highlight the need for public information campaigns in Malaysia to educate men who smoke regarding the health harms associated with SHS in the home and the ways in which SHS travels and lingers in household air. This is important given men’s concerns about SHS often focus on the smell of cigarette smoke in the home. Our findings suggest a number of potential avenues for future intervention development, including household and community-level initiatives which could build on men’s sense of responsibility as the head of the household and/or their general desire to protect their family.
Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
Nicotine & Tobacco Research