So, what do you think about pregnant women being offered gift vouchers to stop smoking?
Full article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-1...regnan/7831562
For the non-clickers:
"A Launceston-based study is using vouchers from a department store as an incentive for women to quit smoking during pregnancy.
Tasmania has the second highest rate in the nation of women smoking while they are pregnant.
About one in six Tasmanian women smoke while pregnant, and for women under 25 the figure rises to one in three.
A University of Tasmania study is now offering monthly $50 gift vouchers to expectant mothers to stop smoking.
Each participant receives the voucher for a department store after they have taken a simple test to determine if they have remained smoke-free for that period.
Dr Mai Frandsen is a research fellow with the Cancer Council of Tasmania and the University of Tasmania, and she said the premise of the research raised tricky questions.
"It's a health psychology question," Dr Frandsen said.
"We all know that we should exercise, we all know that we shouldn't have too many beers, we all know that sitting in front of the television for too long is bad for us, but information isn't enough."
Dr Frandesn's brief and passion was to try and reduce the rates of smoking in pregnancy, and she said the first step in wanting to quit is quite often already present in pregnant women.
"The tricky thing about wanting to quit while pregnant is that a lot of the treatments that are available for people who aren't pregnant and want to quit," Dr Frandsen said.
"Unfortunately even though they're extra motivated to quit, these women don't have as many strategies or don't know that they have as many strategies for actually doing so."
Dr Fransden said midwives and general practitioners who often have contact with pregnant women do the best they can to convey the dangers of smoking while pregnant, but they are often racing the clock.
Taking part in the study is Angela (not her real name) and she was under the impression that quitting smoking would be relatively straight forward.
"I always thought if I was pregnant it'd be easy, I'd quit straight away no problem but it's actually harder than first thought," she said.
While Angela said she did not take part in the study purely for the money, it had been an incentive to help her give up cigarettes.
"I would have been able to do it because I cut down a lot when I found out I was pregnant but I think this made me quit a lot sooner than what I think I would have on my own," Angela said.
Dr Frandsen said participants were put through a rigorous process to make sure they were a suitable candidate for the study and it was not going to impact on their relationship.
"Obviously women have to consent to be part of this so they know full well what they're going in for," Dr Frandsen said.
"Some of the concerns were that the women would be coerced into doing the study because of the financial incentive involved."
Is there a stigma attached to smoking while pregnant?
Dr Frandsen said she thought there was still a massive stigma attached to smoking during pregnancy.
"Even the women who do admit that they smoke during their antenatal appointments with their midwives, there are still quite a number who don't admit to it," she said.
Midwife Susan Gee said women often feel pressured by the public once becoming pregnant.
"We feel suddenly that we can comment on all aspects of this woman's life because she's carrying a baby," Ms Gee said.
"I think it's probably the fact that the baby doesn't have a choice and perhaps people are advocating for the baby."
Dr Frandsen said she been criticised in the past over the fact the study pays women to quit smoking, a view that she said was a "naive" way of looking at it.
"Whatever we are doing isn't working. We still have the second highest rates of smoking in the country and the state and national aim is to get that down," she said.
The vouchers used in the study were paid for through a grant to the University of Tasmania.