Innovative project has big impact on reducing smoking

Innovative project has big impact on reducing smoking

Using children’s voices to discourage people smoking outside a hospital proved to be very powerful and effective.

Students from a local primary school who participated in a number of tobacco education workshops wrote and recorded their own messages about smoking and the impact it has on the health of the smoker, people around them and the environment. Sixteen different messages were recorded and played on a Public Address (PA) system outside the main entrance to Frankston Hospital. It is hoped the Smoke Free PA System Project, will also reduce the exposure to second-hand smoke for service users, visitors and staff.

The project was inspired by an innovative approach being taken by a hospital in the UK. This pilot program sees Frankston City Council Youth Services, Peninsula Health and Frankston Primary School students join forces as part of an Australian-first initiative.

Results of the Smoke Free PA System Project showed a significant reduction in the number of people smoking outside the hospital when the announcements were played. A team of researchers, led by Peninsula Health Anaesthetist, Dr Ashley Webb monitored and analysed CCTV footage and found that 4.4 cigarettes were smoked per hour during non-broadcast periods, falling to 3.6 per hour when the recordings were played five minutes apart. This dropped again to 1.7 per hour when the announcements were played 3 minutes apart.

“Using children’s voices to discourage people smoking outside the hospital was very powerful and effective. We plan to continue this initiative and are investigating expanding it to other Peninsula Health sites,” says Belinda Tascone, Health Promotion Practitioner at Peninsula Health.

Could this be an effective approach to tackling smoking in the settings where you work?

If you are interested in Smoke Free environments, would like to partner with Peninsula Health, or have a question, please contact the Health Promotion team.

Why not take a look at some of the other great health promotion work Peninsula Health are involved in here.

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