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Patterns of tobacco use became an integral component of intimate partner relationships

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Q Before pregnancy, what are the couple routines that accommodate tobacco use in intimate relationships? How do the dynamics within couples influence tobacco use, and how are these dynamics influenced by tobacco use?


A qualitative study using grounded theory.


A large urban community in western Canada.


28 women (and their partners) who had reduced or stopped smoking during their most recent pregnancy.


Data were collected using indepth interviews with each partner. Similar questions were presented to both women and their partners and addressed tobacco related interaction patterns (TRIPs). Each couple’s transcripts were reviewed as a set and summarised as a dyad. Emergent themes were developed from these case summaries.


2 major groups of interactions were discerned. (1) Couple specific tobacco related routines. (a)Regulation of smoking. Over time, couples established routine smoking patterns that fit with their daily activities, individual tolerances for smoking, and need to smoke. For couples who regularly smoked together, smoking not only helped to order couple life but also foster …

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  • For correspondence: Dr J L Bottorff, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. joan.bottorff{at}

  • Sources of funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.