UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The right time. The right reasons: Dads talk about reducing and quitting smoking Bottorff, Joan 2011

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 Suggested Citation: Oliffe, J.L., Bottorff, J. L., & Sarbit, G. (2010). The right time. The right reasons: Dads talk about reducing and quitting smoking. Kelowna, BC: Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, University of  British Columbia Okanagan, Canada. This publication is also available for download at: www.facet.ubc.ca and www.menshealthresearch.ubc.ca Acknowledgements: The team sincerely thanks all of  the fathers who participated in the research and provided feedback on the initial draft of  the booklet. We would also like to thank expert reviewers Ann Dauphinee, Patricia Hill, Zahra Hussein, Cameron White, Christopher Reimer, Steve Robertson, Jack Boomer, Douglas Werry, Derek Roelofsen, David Sheftel, Lorne Friesen, Gilles Tremblay and Thomas Saah for their review and insightful comments. This publication is based on the research conducted as part of  the Families Controlling and Eliminating Tobacco (FACET) research program (www.facet.ubc.ca ). Funding was provided by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the BC Child and Youth Health Research Network. Think Marketing, Kelowna, British Columbia provided assistance with design. ISBN 978-0-88865-877-7 Copyright: University of  British Columbia, 2010 This booklet is based on fathers’ experiences of reducing and quitting smoking. The quotes in the booklet are from expectant and new dads who smoke or have recently reduced or quit and offer their thoughts and ideas. This booklet is for men who identify with the challenges around being an expectant or new dad who smokes. Knowing that you are not alone in your desire to reduce or quit will help you to take that first step on the journey to becoming a smoke-free dad. The route you choose is up to you but the resources provided in this booklet are included to help you along the way. “ It also means figuring out how to parent, and taking on more family responsibl ites.” “ You know, I grew up in a cloud of smoke. We drove around in a cloud of smoke. I didn’t give my smoking a second thought until now.” “ My life is no longer mine only. This little man will depend on me and his mom for everything. Our world has changed, forever.” “ When I found out I was going to be a father, change was in the air.  After the baby’s born, change is there. It’s not in the air anymore. I’ve found myself starting to re-think my smoking.” Becoming a Dad It means commitment, love and being a large part of my child’s life. “Holding, feeding, changing, talking... a feeling of closeness and great joy.” The Presence of a Bab y Being there as a dad means trying to see the world through the eyes of my child. Seeing new possibilities for the future Being open to change Being there as a dad means thinking about my health, what I believe in and what I do every day. Thinking about my child’s safety, education and happiness Setting a good example Being there as a dad involves work!! Guiding and teaching my child Anxious moments of not knowing what to do And being there as a dad means having fun, laughing, and feeling like a kid again. Being A Dad Who Smokes “ I feel guilty all of the time when I have a cigarette and I’ll come in the house and the telephone will ring. She’ll just hand me the baby and I know I’ve got smoke on my breath and the baby wants attention. So I’ve got to talk to him and remember not to breathe into his face.” “ It’s the same routine two, three times every night, I go into the elevator, to go out for a smoke. But I want to quit. So instead of going to smoking level G, I go to parking level P3, and I just go to the car and clean the trunk a bit. Coming back up, I’m excited to see my little girl and I’m not even thinking about smoking. It’s funny how that nonsmoking sign next to the elevator button gets me every time - it makes me press parking P3 and not smoking level G, so it’s just like that, it’s the sign.” “Now that I’m a dad, I’m more aware of how others judge my smoking.” “For the first time, I’ve actually counted up how much it costs me to smoke. It’s scary. I could be using that money in a lot healthier ways. And now, I have somebody who is depending on me. I don’t have that throw away income anymore. It’s a good reason to quit. Life changes, overnight.” Smoking is the number one preventable cause of home fire deaths in Canada. Smoking by dads can be harmful to an unborn fetus and increases the risk of early pregnancy loss. Babies of smoking parents are 8 times more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Dads’ smoking can cause fussiness (colic) in newborns. Smoking in another room in the house will protect others from second hand smoke. Most dads are asked about their smoking habits by health professionals, either during the pregnancy or after the birth. Many dads want to quit smoking in the early months of their baby’s lives. TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE Which Smoking Facts are True? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Which Smoking Facts are True? Dads’ smoking can cause low birth-weight in newborns, as well as ear infections, asthma and pneumonia in babies and children.  Most men fully understand the effects of secondhand smoke on infants. Children from smoking households miss an extra 6 days of school a year. Becoming a father is stressful so it is not a good time to quit smoking. Cold turkey can work but it often takes many attempts. 80% of women who continue to smoke during their pregnancy and after the baby is born live with a partner who smokes. Smoking can be harmful to the entire body (skin, hair, etc.). The health effects caused by smoking only occur after many years of smoking cigarettes. The child of a parent who smokes is twice as likely to smoke as the child of a non-smoker. TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE TRUE  /  FALSE MY SCORE _________ OUT OF 16   1. True 2. True 3. True 4. True 5. False 6. False 7. True 8. True 9. False 10. True 11. False 12. True 13. True 14. True 15. False 16. True ANSWER KEY 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 8 9 Reflecting on my Shift ing Roles “I looked in the mirror and went ‘there’s two of me, there’s about to be two of me.’” “Walk a little slower, Daddy,” said a little child so small; “I’m following in your footsteps and I do not want to fall. Sometimes your steps are very fast, and sometimes hard to see; so walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me. Someday when I am all grown up, you are what I want to be; then I will have a little child who will want to follow me. And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true; so, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!” (anonymous) “ I actually have a kid now and my smoking is not just about me anymore. My smoking also makes it harder for my partner to quit.” “ I used to be able to hike anywhere and now I can barely run 2 blocks and I’m sweating and panting and trying to catch my breath. So I’m thinking ahead to when my kid’s going to want to chase or throw the ball with me. And I’m thinking, oh crap, time to step up, time to quit smoking and be around to watch my kid grow up.” “ Taking my smoking outside helps my baby stay healthy. But I keep thinking about what I’m missing when I’m outside smoking. The guys at work understand that I want to be a good example for my child.” “ Doing things with my baby, like getting out for a walk, helps me forget about the stress I’ve had all day at work.  When that baby smiles at me, I find I don’t need to smoke as much anymore.” “ I’ve heard some guys say it’s easy to quit but for me it’s hard work. It’s a good thing I’m so busy with the baby that I don’t have as much time to smoke.” I am a guy who smokes I am a dad who wants to quit “ Smoking is a part of my life. I’m in reasonably good shape despite what they say about the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes.” “ I don’t care about the health risks because I do plan to quit someday before anything happens and hey, life’s going to take you when it’s going to take you.” “ My smoking doesn’t affect anyone because I smoke in my car on the way to work and I don’t smoke inside the house. At work, everybody smokes including the boss.” “ Smoking helps me to cope with the stresses of work and being a father.” “ I need my cigarettes at social gatherings, at the bar, during breaks at work, or just to get through the day. It’s an addiction right?” Adding Rocks to My P ile of “Reasons to Quit Smok ing” Which are my rocks? My partner is pregnant. My new baby has arrived. I’m not as fit as I used to be. I worry about my future health. I worry about my family’s health. I don’t like being addicted. Smoking really bothers other people. Smoking sets a bad example for my children. People are pressuring me to quit. I spend too much money on cigarettes. My clothes stink. My car smells. My buddies are smoking less. My buddies are quitting smoking. Some other rocks on my pile... “My  child  rocks my world!”  il    l ! “My  child  rocks my world!”  il    l ! “ Once you have that newborn in your hand, I mean it’s like the world stops. That’s the moment you think about the future, and how much your life has changed. Why not go that extra step?” I smoke 15 cig arettes a day. If I quit,  I would save... In one week: In one month: In one year: In five years: When my child graduates from High School: $42.00 $180.00 $2,190.00 $10,950.00 $39,420.00 It’s The Right Time! “ I had to graduate, and, of course, look for a new job. And then I found out that my wife was pregnant. So there was a lot of stress. But eventually, I suppose, what really made me quit was the baby. The labour and delivery experience was so stressful that I asked a friend to bring me a packet of cigarettes. The cigarettes arrived 40 minutes after the birth and to my surprise the urge to smoke had gone. I’m saving this unopened packet of cigarettes to tell this story to my son when he’s old enough to understand.”   For The Right Reasons! “ I was thinking of the main reason I want to quit. It’s like when you’re smoking you’re realizing you’re not going to be there for your kid’s life, like they’re going to grow up without you. And it’s like well I want to be a better man than that.” Because they’re worth it. Because I’m worth it. Smoking Cost Calculator: http://bit.ly/calculatenow Cutting Down? “ When I made the decision and was able to cut down a little bit day by day, I went from one pack a day to one pack every three days. I was feeling good about it. I want to get in shape and I think that swimming is a good idea. I plan to use swimming to fight the effects of quitting smoking.” Mutual Help? “ If I had someone who would sponsor me and hang out with me who doesn’t smoke and who doesn’t support things I want to do in that area of my life, I could change my life.” Cold Turkey? “ It wasn’t something like, oh, I’m going to quit on this date kind of thing. I just all of a sudden decided to quit. Well I was planning to quit when the baby was born.  But I don’t know why I quit three weeks before. Oh! I know why, because my last cigarette ran out, and I just decided not to buy another one, so that was it.” My life... My choice.. What w ill work best for me? Smoking Cessation Aids “ I have patches with me in case I need them basically . . . But I’m finding that the baby kind of replaces the patch. That’s how powerful having a baby is.” “ I made a decision not to smoke and I was fine for a whole week - no problem. I had no cravings whatsoever and I didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms either. But as soon as I got in my truck, I went straight to the store and bought a package of cigarettes. So now I keep lots of sunflower seeds in my truck and I spit instead of smoke.” “ And you know that the patch does work. Like the whole time I quit I was using the patch and it was fine . . . but I also could have used an inhaler, nicotine gum, lozenges . . . “ “ I used to wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee and a cigarette. I stopped drinking coffee so I don’t have a cigarette in the morning. I drink orange juice now.” “ I know that advice and information from doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses or other health professionals can help me decide the best way for me to quit smoking.” Celebrate Success One Step at a Time To the  wor ld I am  just one person.  t  r l  I  j t  r . To m y child  I am the world!  il  I   l ! Further information: www.facet.ubc.ca | www.itag.ubc.ca quitnow ca QuitNow by Phone: 1-877-455-2233 • Confidential tobacco cessation helpline • Free to residents of British Columbia • Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day QuitNow.ca • Internet-based quit smoking service • Available free of charge to all BC residents.


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