To examine perceived barriers and motivators for smoking cessation among caregivers of inpatient pediatric patients.


From December 2014 to June 2018, trained tobacco counselors conducted motivational interviews (MI) with caregivers of inpatient pediatric patients ages 0 to 17, who participated in the intervention arm of a smoking cessation randomized controlled trial. By using NVivo 12 software, the first MI session with each caregiver was evaluated by 3 individuals to identify and categorize motivators and barriers; agreement among reviewers was reached. Barriers and motivators were examined in bivariable analysis with χ2 or Fisher’s exact tests for categorical factors and with t-tests for continuous factors by using SAS 9.4 software.


Of the 124 caregivers randomized to intervention, 99 subjects (80%) completed ≥1 MI sessions. The most prevalent barriers to cessation were stress (57%) and social influence (37%).

The most prevalent motivators were desire to lead a healthy life (54%) and desire to improve the child and family’s well-being (47%). Older parent age was associated with wanting to lead a healthy life, and younger child age was associated with wanting to improve the child and family’s well-being.


Understanding barriers and motivators to cessation among caregivers is crucial in reducing pediatric secondhand smoke (SHS). When developing caregiver cessation programs in an inpatient clinic encounter, caregiver barriers and motivators may help in targeting education and strategies to help counselors and clinicians better identify and support caregivers who wish to quit smoking.

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