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Mornington Peninsula hospital uses children’s voices to badger smokers to butt out

3AW Breakfast

A Mornington Peninsula hospital is harnessing the voices of children to stop smokers lighting up outside the hospital entrance.

Frankston Hospital has been playing recorded anti-smoking messages from grade six students outside the hospital.

“It’s pretty funny that I’m a lot younger than you but I know a lot better.”

“Your smoking makes me angry and sad.”

The messages, written and read by Frankston Primary School students have had a staggering effect on smoking rates, cutting smoking rates by two thirds.

“We had a base line smoking rate in the evenings and weekends of 4.4 cigarettes and hour being smoked at the main entrance, and that fell to 1.7 an hour when the messages were played at three minute intervals, which was very, very significant,” Dr Ashley Webb from Peninsula Health said.

Dr Webb said he’s not aware of any similar schemes at other hospitals, but he hopes the idea catches on.

“At one of the Western Australian hospitals they do play a message but it’s by adults and it’s just ‘please don’t smoke at this site’,” he told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.

“Our messages are genuine authentic messages from kids and it probably works better coming from kids.”

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Image: RapidEye

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