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Tobacco Free pilot project helps more than 40 per cent of participants quit

Posted on March 6, 2019

An innovative Tasmanian pilot project that used incentive vouchers to encourage local smokers to quit has helped more than 40 per cent of participants kick the habit.

The Tobacco Free Communities pilot project began in the Glamorgan Spring Bay area on 1 May last year, and worked by giving smokers shopping vouchers for local businesses if they could prove they hadn’t smoked by taking regular carbon monoxide breath tests.

Successful participants would get a voucher a week for the first month, then another at the end of the second and third months.

The Drug Education Network (DEN) ran the project alongside the Royal Flying Doctor Service (one of Primary Health Tasmania’s commissioned providers), University of Tasmania and the Cancer Council, with funding from a Health Tasmanian Community Innovation Grant.

“The project outcomes saw an increased number of people in the community who attempted to quit smoking, and an increased number of people who successfully quit smoking: 41.4% of participants had quit and remained quit at the three month check-in,” DEN says.

“The project activity demonstrated that community members were very keen to get help to stop smoking. The enthusiasm with which all sections of the community got behind the project, as well as the uptake from individuals enrolling in the program, was inspiring.”

Primary Health Tasmania also profiled the project in the last issue of Primary Health Matters.

DEN says it’s now investigating future opportunities for the Tobacco Free Communities Project.

Pictured: Triabunna resident and project participant Allyce Cox.