Loose Women star joins 2019 Stoptober campaign to urge smokers to quit

TV presenter Nadia Sawalha will front the eighth annual Stoptober campaign from Public Health England as it kicks off next week.

Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha is supporting the Stoptober campaign
Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha is supporting the Stoptober campaign

The Loose Women presenter – who quit smoking 16 years ago – is supporting the PHE campaign that encourages smokers across the country to stop smoking during the month of October. 

The focus of the 2019 campaign will be the relationship smokers have with cigarettes, and will encourage smokers to 'split up' with smoking this Stoptober. 

Campaign materials include tongue-in-cheek videos featuring men and women speaking to an oversized cigarette about why they need to end the relationship, as well as social-media imagery and messaging. 

The campaign – which is bolstered by paid-for radio, out-of-home, digital and social advertising – is targeting all smokers with new creative content to raise awareness that Stoptober is back and urging them to re-evaluate their relationship with smoking this October. 

"Stoptober is one of the best examples of a behaviour-change campaign, having driven over 1.9 million quit attempts to date," said Sheila Mitchell, director of marketing for Public Health England. 

"We hope to see this number continuing to rise as Stoptober supports thousands more to 'split up' with smoking this October.

"This year’s campaign looks to engage smokers of all ages by drawing on insights that many smokers feel they are in a bad relationship with smoking that they really want to break up from."

PR activity kicked off on 19 September, leading with the news of the fastest drop in smoking rates in more than a decade – there have been 200 fewer smokers every hour in England in 2019, according to early indications from a University College London study.

The Stoptober campaign received a funding boost in 2017, after a slash in budget in 2016 led to a sharp drop in awareness and attempts to quit smoking.

Alongside paid and earned activity, Stoptober is working with employers, charities, commercial partners and local authorities to deliver reach and ensure relevance of key messages. 

In addition, its owned Facebook communities act as a hub where smokers can share quitting tips and get free support.  

The Stoptober campaign has two main phases, rally and support. The rally phase, from 19 September to 1 October, aims to get smokers thinking about Stoptober and preparing for their quit attempt. 

The second phase will support smokers through their quit attempt from 1 October through to the end of the month.

PHE will gauge the success of the campaign through measures including campaign scale and recognition, engagement and behaviour-change outcomes, and is due to publish its evaluation of the 2018 activity in the coming days.


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