UBC researchers, in collaboration with healthcare providers and community partners, have developed a resource booklet geared specifically towards new and expectant fathers who want to become smoke-free. The booklet, The right time….The right reasons, will be available online on Father’s Day.
Based on the real-life thoughts and experiences of dads who have — or are currently trying to — quit smoking, the booklet was designed to reflect the unique challenges that men face as fathers and smokers, as well as start a conversation about the motivations behind quitting.
“The content and quotes in the booklet are taken entirely from original stories told by dads who participated in our research studies on fathers who smoke,” says Bottorff. “The booklet uses pictures and quotes to reflect the way dads talked about the many challenges of being a new dad as well as a new dad who smokes.”
Research by Joan Bottorff, director for the
Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at UBC’s Okanagan campus, and colleague John Oliffe, associate professor at the School of Nursing at UBC’s Vancouver campus, suggests that men had a strong desire to help and support each other in their efforts to reduce and stop smoking.
To reflect this, the resource booklet was written in a style that features “dads talking with dads” as opposed to “experts talking to dads.” The booklet includes a variety of strategies that some fathers used to reduce and quit smoking, and encourages fathers reading the booklet to think about and decide what will work best for them.
Doug Werry, Chair of Building Healthy Families Society and founder of the Nurturing Fathers program, says the booklet is a much-needed resource for fathers.
“Dads often feel they have been left out of the picture in terms of literature and parenting education,” he says. “When I took the draft of this booklet to the group to get their perspective the initial response was extremely positive. They felt it was just for them — something that spoke to a real issue in a real way and offered support specifically to them.”
Bottorff’s and Oliffe’s research, which was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, finds that stereotypes of masculinity can influence the habits of new fathers who continue to smoke despite knowing the risks associated with first- and second-hand smoke.
“The findings revealed the uncomfortable dilemma new dads experience in relation to smoking and their role as providers and protectors for their families, and highlight the importance of understanding the contexts in which men continue to smoke,” says Oliffe.
Between 22 and 33 per cent of Canadian men continue to smoke during their child-rearing years, 13 per cent of households have at least one person who smokes inside the house every day, and approximately 6 per cent of children under the age of 12 are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke.
“This booklet is not a ‘how to quit’ smoking guide,” says Bottorff. “Rather, it focuses on supporting and strengthening men’s motivation to take the first step to reducing and stopping smoking, and it links fathers who smoke to free smoking cessation services in B.C.”
“The new UBC booklet provides a great opportunity for expectant or new fathers to read real-life stories about dads who made a commitment for the health of themselves and their family by quitting smoking,” said Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport. “The tobacco-free resource can inspire fathers to lead healthier lives that are tobacco free and also help B.C. continue to reduce its provincial smoking rate.”
For further information, and to view the new booklet on Father’s Day, visit http://www.facet.ubc.ca/.
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