‘Waiting until they got home’: gender, smoking and tobacco exposure in households in Scotland

Robinson, J. , Ritchie, D., Amos, A., Cunningham-Burley, S., Greaves, L. and Martin, C. (2010) ‘Waiting until they got home’: gender, smoking and tobacco exposure in households in Scotland. Social Science and Medicine, 71(5), pp. 884-890. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.04.031) (PMID:20580143)

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The introduction in March 2006 of legislation banning smoking in public places in Scotland raised concerns that smokers would smoke more at home and so increase the exposure of those living with them to tobacco smoke. Drawing on interviews from two qualitative studies conducted after the implementation of the legislation, this article uses a gendered analysis to explore where and why smokers, who lived with non-smokers including children, continued to smoke in their homes. Although very few people attributed any increased home smoking to being a direct consequence of the legislation, many who already smoked there continued, and most women reported little or no disruption to their home smoking post-legislation. Also, because of the changing social environment of smoking, and other life circumstances, a minority of women had increased their levels of home smoking. Compared to the men in these studies, women, particularly those who didn’t work outside the home, had restricted social lives and thus were less likely to have smoked in public places before the legislation and spent more time socialising in the homes of other people. In addition, women with children, including women who worked outside their homes, were more likely to spend sustained periods of time caring for children compared to fathers, who were more likely to leave the home to work or socialise. Although home smoking was linked to gendered caring responsibilities, other issues associated with being a smoker also meant that many women smokers chose to keep smoking in their homes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Professor Jude
Authors: Robinson, J., Ritchie, D., Amos, A., Cunningham-Burley, S., Greaves, L., and Martin, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:Social Science and Medicine
ISSN (Online):1873-5347
Published Online:20 May 2010

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