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The Drug Education Network’s Tobacco Free Communities: Glamorgan and Spring Bay project is a community-based initiative utilising best practice strategies such as voucher-based incentives, brief interventions and social support to support smokers to quit smoking and stay smoke free.
Participants who signed up to the program received detailed quitting advice during an initial enrolment session and were encouraged to set a ‘quit date’ to work towards as well as receiving one-on-one support with their local pharmacist. Participants then received $50 vouchers to spend at local businesses for every week that their CO test results proved ‘smoke free’.
The enthusiasm with which all sections of the community got behind the project, as well as the uptake from individuals enrolling in the program, has been inspiring, with 35 people signing up for the program and broad local business support.
Partnerships were formed throughout the Glamorgan/Spring Bay area, with major partners for the project being the three pharmacies in Triabunna, Swansea and Bicheno.
Training was provided for each of the project partners around project orientation, smoking cessation support and carbon monoxide monitoring workshops, with pharmacists and pharmacy staff then being involved with the local promotion and implementation of the project.
The results of the program have shown that the combination of an incentive (voucher) and one-on-one support from a pharmacist can be effective not only in encouraging people to set a quit date and make an attempt to quit but in forming a valuable relationship with their local pharmacist. This relationship can last well beyond the length of time of engagement with the project – and can be just the motivation that people need.
Local pharmacies have all been left with a CO monitor to continue to enhance their smoking cessation work, and each community is now able to look for ways to source new incentive vouchers and continue to run the program whenever an opportunity arises.
The Steering Group for the project comprised representatives from the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, Royal Flying Doctor Service, University of Tasmania, Drug Education Network, Cancer Council Tasmania and local business.
image: Tobacco Free Communities: using ‘social contract’ and incentive-based strategies to help community members quit smoking. Photo by Liam Mitchell