Public Health England quit smoking campaign avoids 'cold turkey' message

Advertising activity for annual push promotes new 'personal quit plan' tool.

Jeremy Kyle is supporting this year's Stoptober campaign
Jeremy Kyle is supporting this year's Stoptober campaign

Public Health England's latest Stoptober smoking cessation activity seeks to encourage smokers to not simply rely on cold turkey.

Instead, it is pushing smokers towards finding the best route to quit through a "personal quit plan" digital tool.

PHE is running a television campaign, created by M&C Saatchi, to promote the tool, which asks smokers a number of questions about their habit in order to suggest advice based on their level of tobacco dependency and previous attempts to quit.

Of the 6.1 million smokers in England, six in 10 want to quit, but most try to quit by simply going cold turkey – using willpower alone – despite this being the least effective method, according to PHE.

Smokers will be advised on combining nicotine replacement therapy products for the most effective results. For instance, combining an all-day patch with a fast-acting option such as an inhaler to help deal with cravings. 

PHE marketing director Sheila Mitchell said: "Stoptober has inspired 1.7 million quit attempts to date and we are excited to show through our statistics that, on average, someone quits smoking every 80 seconds in England.

"However, there are still over six million smokers in England, so we need to do what we can to help those quit. The best way to quit is with support and that’s why we are encouraging people to try our new personal quit plan."

This is the seventh time PHE has run its Stoptober initiative, an annual smoking cessation push that runs in October.

This year’s TV campaign is being supported by TV presenter Jeremy Kyle, who has created a video about how he kicked his 35-year smoking habit.

Activity launches on 20 September and will also include digital and social media activity, a radio partnership with Global Radio, as well as PR, public and commercial partnerships.

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