Transition to Fatherhood and Changes in Smoking Behaviour. The Role of Partner’s Habit during Pregnancy

Marta Pasqualini , Università di Perugia
Luca Pieroni, Università di Perugia
Anne McMunn, University College London

Transition to parenthood might represents an opportunity to change behaviours not just for mothers, but also for their partners. In this paper, we investigate whether mother’s smoking status during pregnancy influences life-course changes in smoking behaviour amongst fathers. We undertook step-function survival analyses in order to explore differences in the effect over time by using data from the UK Millennium Cohort Studies (N = 8,200). Main findings show that having a non-smoker partner or a partner who quit during pregnancy significantly increased fathers’ probability to stop smoking already just after birth and in the first three years. Whereas, having an expectant partner who just reduced the amount of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy significantly reduced father’s probability to quit. Finally, having a partner who stop smoking during pregnancy significantly increased fathers’ probability to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked immediately after birth, whereas having a non-smoker partner decreased their probability to reduce when the child had 5 years old. According to our results, changes in mothers’ smoking behaviours – although providing well-known benefits to child and maternal health – represents an important boost to reduce or stop smoking amongst fathers decreasing, in that way, the exposure to second-hand smoking for all the household members. Therefore, stimulating interventions aimed at targeting expectant mothers in order to help them in quitting or reducing smoking during pregnancy may fosters effective long-term cessation also for their partners.

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 Presented in Session 110. Life Course: Linked Lives