Text messages to help smokers quit during Stoptober

Public Health England (PHE) has announced that text messages will be used during this year’s Stoptober campaign to encourage those who are quitting smoking to keep at it.

The annual campaign was set up to try and get Brits to kick the habit en massse, with the help of fellow quitters encouraging them. This year PHE has said it will be using comedy to boost its campaign – which has seen comics Paddy McGuinness, Al Murray, Lee Nelson and Andi Osho sign up.

Not only will the comedians appear in a three-minute sketch show aired during ad breaks on ITV, they will also be part of additional sketches which can be sent to mobile owners to help them beat the cravings, brandrepublic.com reports.

These videos aren’t the only way in which PHE is targeting smartphone users, however. It’s also outlined plans to provide anyone who signs up to the 28-day challenge with a daily text message to keep their spirits up. On top of this, participants will receive a support pack, as well as access to dedicated mobile apps and websites.

Commenting on the plans, PHE marketing director Sheila Mitchell told marketingweek.co.uk: “Our approach of using insight-led content generated by our comedians, delivered in a timely manner through the channels our audience consumes, will help people throughout what can be a difficult and intimidating challenge.

“It’s a common British trait to use our sense of humour to help get through difficult times, so comedy is an excellent route to helping people stay motivated, as well as providing them with the necessary distractions when quitting.”