The concept of public health involves national and local health initiatives, health education and the creation of social and physical environments to protect and promote population health.1 Despite widely accepted health risks and available support, the use of tobacco remains a health issue in the UK, and smoking cessation is a key health promotion topic for primary care nurses and midwives.
The experience of promoting smoking cessation in a woman’s booking appointment prompted the author to examine the challenges of encouraging a health behaviour change. The woman and her partner were both smokers, and the author’s experience is used in the form of a case study to demonstrate the barriers to success encountered by health professionals. Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour2 is used to explore the woman’s personal attitude, subjective norms and perceived external barriers, before the woman’s likelihood to change is determined.
The theory of planned behaviour