The purpose of this study was to explore parents' experience and perceptions of smoking in the presence of children. Findings regarding patterns of parents' smoking in the presence of children were situation specific. When thinking of smoking with children around, parents engaged in a process of weighing the importance of the need to smoke and adverse effects from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, a consideration based mostly on their experience. A pattern of correspondence was identified between family's level of concern and promoting change among smokers. Many strategies participants used to prevent children's environmental tobacco smoke exposure were relatively ineffective and needed to be addressed.