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Campaigns to encourage pregnant women to give up smoking need to be localised in rural areas to have a greater impact, according to a Mount Isa health expert, Professor Sabina Knight, Director of the Centre for Rural and Remote Health.
Pregnant women and Indigenous Australians are being targeted in a new anti-smoking campaign, Quit for you, quit for two, which will run across TV, print, radio and social media, highlighting the dangers of smoking while pregnant.
Professor Knight said there were higher rates of pregnant Indigenous and non-Indigenous smokers in rural areas due to the combination of poverty and geographic location.
'Public health legislation such as banning smoking in restaurants and on public transport doesn't impact on people who live in rural areas,' Professor Knight said.
'It doesn't have as much of an impact because it doesn't reach people. There's no public transport and no restaurants where people would be affected by the no-smoking ban in rural areas.'
Professor Knight said the new government campaign would have an impact on the region if it were sustained, agile and able to evolve to capture the attention of those targeted. 'We need varied and sustained strategies that are localised which target particular groups of people,' she said.
Source: The North West Star