Hackney to tackle smoking

Smoking among such diverse groups as pregnant women, mental health patients, City workers and the unemployed is the focus of a cessation campaign being developed by City and Hackney Teaching Primary Care Trust.

The drive will incorporate the tagline 'Ready-Steady-Quit' and be handled by start-up agency Acknowledge Communications.

'The area boasts a diverse population, from high-flying bankers to migrant workers and we have to talk to all these audiences very differently,' said Acknowledge MD Zena Williams.

Acknowledge plans one-to-one interviews with pregnant women to identify why they continue to light up and the barriers to cessation, as well as focus groups with mental health care workers and ethnic minorities.

Media relations will target Jewish, black, Asian, Turkish and local press, and the campaign will culminate with a one-off sports event in collaboration with youth  groups on Hackney Marshes in the summer.
In the borough, 27 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women smoke, according to a household survey carried out in 2004. These figures are slightly above the national average of 26 per cent.

Acknowledge won a two-way pitch to take the brief. Fees for the account are believed to be around £100,000.

Williams is the former managing director of Hill & Knowlton consumer offshoot PiranhaKid.

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