INTRODUCTION: Secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy is a significant cause of negative health effects. This study aims to identify barriers and facilitators for implementing a smoke-free home and car among expectant Israeli fathers. AIMS AND METHODS: Twenty-four qualitative semistructured telephone interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed according to a reflexive and collaborative thematic approach. Inclusion criteria were being male, Hebrew speaker, age ≥18 years, smoking at least one cigarette a day, and living with their nonsmoking pregnant spouse. The Capability, Opportunity and Motivation for Behavior (COM-B) model was used as a theoretical model for analysis. RESULTS: Participants reported feeling a strong responsibility for their pregnant spouse's comfort and health, stating that they are doing the best they can to reduce their spouse's secondhand smoke exposure (Motivation). Participants had a low level of knowledge about specific secondhand smoke health consequences, effective strategies to reduce secondhand smoke exposure, with incorrect perceptions about what constitutes exposure (Capability). Couple relationships were not affected by the husband's smoking habits, and participants expressed mutual consideration and understanding (Opportunity). Participants also expressed positive attitudes regarding smoke-free home and car implementation but emphasized that any changes have to be their own decision (Motivation). CONCLUSIONS: The present study identified principal Capability, Opportunity and Motivation barriers and facilitators that influence Israeli expectant fathers' decision to implement a smoke-free home and car. Those findings will inform the development of a digital behavioral intervention targeting expectant fathers to reduce prenatal secondhand smoke exposure. IMPLICATIONS: Secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy is a significant cause of negative health effects. Interventions among expectant fathers that focus on creating a smoke-free home and car may be effective because pregnancy has been identified as a "window of opportunity" that generates a strong motivation and creates a sense of urgency to change smoking behavior, while being considered more achievable than smoking cessation. Interventions might be effective if they focus on strengthening the parental responsibility among expectant fathers and emphasize the benefits of a smoke-free home and car, while maintaining male autonomy and increasing skills to effectively implement a smoke-free home and car.
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