The aim is to extend understanding of the policy and practice discourses that inform the development of national tobacco control policy to protect children from secondhand smoke exposure (SHSE) in the home, particularly in a country with successful implementation of smoke-free public places legislation. The Scottish experience will contribute to the tobacco control community, particularly those countries at a similar level of tobacco control, as normalising discourses about protecting children from SHSE are becoming more widespread.Design
Case study design using qualitative interviews and focus groups (FGs) with policy makers, health and childcare practitioners during which they were presented with the findings of the Reducing Families' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke (REFRESH) intervention and discussed the implications for their policy and practice priorities.Setting
Qualitative interviews and FGs were conducted with 30 policy makers and practitioners who were purposively recruited.Results
Participants accepted the harm of SHSE to children; however, action is limited by political expedience due to—the perception of a shift of the public health priority from smoking to alcohol, current financial constraints, more immediate child protection concerns and continuing unresolved ethical arguments.Conclusions
In a country, such as Scotland, with advanced tobacco control strategies, there continue to be challenges to policy and practice development in the more contentious arena of the home. Children's SHSE in their homes is unequivocally accepted as an important health priority, but it is not currently perceived to be a top public health priority in Scotland.