SmokefreeUK campaign update

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How you’ve helped us communicate our SmokefreeUK campaign

In the autumn of 2022, the Cancer Research UK Campaigns team gathered the insight of a range of people affected by cancer to help shape how we communicate this campaign and reach as many people as possible. Campaigns and Ambassador Officer, Lauren shares how patient involvement has shaped the campaign so far.

SmokefreeUK is currently a priority campaign for Cancer Research UK, which is calling on the UK government to take action to lower smoking rates and reduce tobacco smoking-related cancers. The two main goals of this campaign are raising the age of sale for tobacco and increasing investment in stop-smoking services. The involvement of people affected by cancer has been instrumental in helping us outline the best ways to pursue that goal.

We tested key messaging and policy asks with our Cancer Insights Panel. They gave a critique of our strategy and language and provided us with useful things to consider. We then ran a workshop with network members and members of the public who are less familiar with the charity’s policy work. This was valuable in helping us gain insight into how our messaging might be received and what to change to expand our campaign. We finished off our insight gathering with a SmokefreeUK messaging survey to confirm our findings and gather specific feedback on imagery and language.

Based on the insight we received we’re now working towards four key actions over 2023:

  1. We’ll draft a public-facing tagline for our campaign that effectively conveys the goal of our campaign using bold and simple language and motivates people to get involved.
  2. We’ll prioritise messaging that focuses on a personal story and the impact of smoking-related cancer on family and loved ones.
  3. We’ll communicate our policy goals in accessible easy-to-understand language rather than technical jargon.
  4. We’ll pursue a new iteration of campaign imagery that is more human-centered and inclusive.

Because of your help, the #SmokefreeUK campaign will be able to reach millions of people across the UK and make a difference in UK Parliament. 

More about the #Smokefree campaign

Smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer and death in the UK. To address this, Cancer Research UK launched its #SmokefreeUK campaign in the summer of 2022 with the aim of encouraging government action to (1) prevent young people from taking up smoking and (2) help current smokers to quit. To ensure the success of our campaign and prevent as many cancers as possible, we need to build support among politicians and members of the public.