Helping mums give smokes the flick
The rate of smoking amongst pregnant Aboriginal women is an alarming 50% – a statistic North Coast Area Health Service hopes to change by appealing to mum’s hip pocket.
On Tuesday the Health Equity Committee launched two new quit smoking resources, Give Smokes the Flick it Really Makes Cents and Happy Healthy Mums and Bubs.
The materials have been written in a ‘yarn’ style to better spread the message among pregnant Aboriginal women. Give Smokes the Flick it Really Makes Cents contains a flipbook clearly showing how much money you can save by giving up cigarettes. It also contains play money so women can get a taste of what it’s like to have extra cash in their hands as well as examples of nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum and inhalers.
North Coast Area Health Service director of health promotion Uta Dietrich said new research revealed cost is a key factor in influencing the decision to quit smoking and this was a carrot and stick approach – although there’s more carrot than stick.
“Cigarettes are expensive so we wanted to show that you can save a lot of money,” she said.
“In one year you could have enough to buy a new second-hand car or a new washing machine, or something else for your new family.”
Happy Healthy Mums and Bubs is a booklet containing facts about how the effect of smoking on babies’ health during and after pregnancy, with pictures of local Aboriginal families and space for women to write down important appointments in each trimester of pregnancy.
Both resources will be distributed in the North Coast and Mid North Coast by health workers, DoCS workers and NGOs.
NSW Health has also provided money to evaluate the program and if it proves successful it will be rolled out across the state.