September 23, 2020
Public Health England (PHE) has revealed it will bring its annual ‘Stoptober’ campaign under its recently-launched adult health brand ‘Better Health’.
The move is an attempt to “better thread together its individual initiatives,” PHE said.
The £1 million campaign has been developed by M&C Saatchi and focuses on improved lung health, with a ‘breathe easier’ message. The campaign will run across outdoor, radio, PR, online and social media, while there is also a Stoptober app, Facebook Messenger bot, emails, SMS and an online community. There is a new focus this year on targeting those aged 18 to 34 after an increase among this age group during Covid-19.
Stoptober is in its ninth year and has helped more than two million smokers to quit since its start. In recent years, however, the government has appeared to take a step back from the campaign, putting the onus on retailers, vape manufacturers and local stop smoking services to run promotions and support smokers transitioning away from combustible tobacco.
Last week, John Dunne, chief executive at the UK Vape Industry Association (UKVIA) said: “If the campaign does not go ahead – and there is no sign of a Stoptober 2020 website with just a couple of weeks to go – it will put a huge question mark on the future direction and priorities of health policy given the recent announcement to bring to an end Public Health England and absorb it into the new National Institute of Health Protection.”
Revealing the plans, PHE’s deputy head of marketing, Alexia Clifford, hinted that it was the backdrop of a pandemic which had encouraged the body to back Stoptober 2020 more fulsomely.
She said: “Stoptober, now in its ninth year, has become a national calendar moment and encouraged over two million quit attempts. There’s never been a better time to stop smoking with the wide range of support available to people. Lung health is more important than ever, and I hope that this year’s campaign will continue to encourage many more smokers to quit.”