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Local Primary School Kids have their say on smoking

This blog is written by Belinda Tascone, Health Promotion Practitioner at Peninsula Health.

On Wednesday the 11th of December 2019, Peninsula Health and Frankston City Council hosted a celebration event to acknowledge the success of the Smoke Free PA System Project, and to thank local Frankston Primary School students for their involvement in the project. The celebration was held at George Pentland Botanic Gardens, with a certificate and healthy gift bags presented to the students by Peninsula Health Chief Executive, Felicity Topp.  Following this, the students celebrated with a healthy morning tea back at the school, to share the success of the project with their fellow grade 6 pupils.

Recordings of student voices, with short ‘smoke free’ messages, were played on the PA system outside the main entrance of Frankston Hospital at different time intervals throughout October – November 2019. A team of researchers monitored and analysed CCTV footage and found that that there was a significant reduction in the number of people smoking outside the hospital when the announcements were played. Footage showed an average of 4.4 cigarettes smoked per hour during non-broadcast periods, falling to 3.6 per hour when the recordings were played every five minutes. When the recordings were played even more frequently, every three minutes, this number dropped again to 1.7 cigarettes smoked per hour. 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.

 If you are interested in Smoke Free environments, would like to partner with us, or have a question, please contact us at: smokefree@phcn.vic.gov.au