Smoking causes nearly 80,000 deaths a year in England. And it’s worse during this crisis. Not only are smokers more at risk of severe complications if they get Covid-19, passive smoking affects everyone else forced to stay home with them. What’s more, unemployment, boredom, stress and anxiety are typical smoking triggers, making it harder to kick the habit. To help people quit, smoking services across Greater Manchester are offering support online, over the phone and through live chat with a trained stop smoking advisor via an app. But how could they get the word out?
Typical smoking cessation campaigns use shock tactics, focusing on the harm the habit can do. Yet, in times of stress and crisis we actually look for togetherness and support. We know our audience want to stop, so let’s positively encourage them that the time is now and show we’re here with tangible help, every step of the way.
The idea taps into the shift to ‘balcony’ life in lockdown with a fun, regional twist. It’s a flexible creative vehicle enabling us to deliver highly targeted adverts and content to smokers across Greater Manchester. Targeted at high-risk groups and areas where smoking prevalence is higher, this is a four-week campaign across digital and social channels supported by PR, press and posters in pharmacies, hospitals, maternity units, community hubs and workplaces of keyworkers.
Since the campaign launched, smoking rates in Greater Manchester have dropped faster than anywhere else in England
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