Local stop smoking insight and campaign

We worked with Middlesbrough Council to uncover local insight into smoking behaviours and develop a stop smoking campaign.

Read more about it below

The challenge

Low income communities in Middlesbrough have a low uptake of accessing smoking cessation services.

We were tasked to undertake research into local smoking behaviours and insights with residents from low-income communities, understanding the barriers to access support and how this can be used to influence a local campaign.

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What we did

We conducted telephone interviews and held a focus group in Middlesbrough as part of this research.

The research sought to gather insight on the knowledge and awareness about a number of aspects around smoking and the local smoking cessation services amongst residents in the Middlesbrough area, focusing on residents living in low income communities. These included smoking harms and consequences, second-hand smoke, Smokefree areas and illicit tobacco.

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What we found

The research provided us with a mixture of insights that will be used to develop a campaign.

The research provided us with a range of insights that were used to develop a campaign. Smokers in Middlesbrough were aware of the long-term consequences of smoking, such as COPD and heard disease. Although the link between smoking and cancer did not resonate with smokers as a prevention message, there was a desire to see messages that highlighted the link between smoking and other forms of cancer.

In relation to attitudes around smoking, there was a perception that passive smoking was not harmful to others, with some arguing that passive smoking was a myth.

Residents shared their triggers to smoking, as well as identifying who the key influencers are in their behaviours. For residents who were parents, children acted as an influencer in relation to their own smoking behaviours, as they change their behaviour to smoke out of sight of their children, nieces or nephews.

We used the insights to develop three campaign concepts to encourage and motivate residents to access their local smoking cessation services.

The first concept presented messages about accessing personalised, tailored and individualised support to help quit smoking. The second concept focused on myth busting assumptions and presenting facts related to smoking. The third concept focused on presenting parent and child perspectives on smoking to highlight the impact smoking has on children.

We tested these concepts through further telephone interviews with residents, enabling us to create a final version of each. Middlesbrough Council have used all three concepts as part of an awareness raising campaign to increase the number of residents from low income communities accessing local smoking cessation services.

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