Blackpool’s iconic Pleasure Beach has joined forces with a town-wide initiative to curb smoking amongst pregnant women.
Those who have dropped the habit during pregnancy will be given vouchers for the iconic theme park, high street retailers and Madame Tussauds in a project backed by local councillors.
Recent data from the NHS has revealed that the town has the highest rate of smoking during pregnancy in the UK. Figures show that between October to December 2017, 27.8 percent of expectant mothers in the town continued to smoke up until they gave birth.
The council has taken action against this and now believes that its campaign against smoking could help more than 800 people quit each year.
Disappointingly, the scheme has been met with some opposition, with fingers being pointed at the use of public funds.
Sara Rainwater, of the Taxpayers Alliance pressure group, described the voucher incentives as tantamount to a “bribe” funded by taxpayer money.
She said: “As a mother who didn’t smoke during pregnancy, I don’t believe public money should be used to bribe new mothers to make the same decision.”
Meanwhile the Royal College of Midwives waded in and commented that the measures were an expensive means to an end and that there should be greater investment in prevention.
That said, Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach stands tall in its proactive, positive efforts for the local community.
Similar incentive schemes have made good progress in a number of towns and cities throughout the UK and this latest iteration in Blackpool is yet more evidence of the positive social work being undertaken by operators the nation over.