Changing behaviour for health

The South West has the highest proportion of hand-rolled tobacco smokers in the country – at 33% of smokers – and NHS Smokefree South West was looking for an advertising partner to take their campaigns out to the hearts and minds of South West smokers.

Dispelling Myths & Modifying Habits

Our brief would target HRT (hand-rolled tobacco) – also known as 'roll ups' – and it would be a first of its kind to do so. The aim was to highlight the health risks of smoking roll ups and to change behaviour, ultimately to help a proportion of roll ups smokers to take action to quit.

In order to change behaviour in HRT smokers, we would have to overcome deeply held beliefs about smoking roll ups. Research showed that roll ups smokers hold deeply entrenched beliefs about smoking hand-rolled tobacco – myths that make these smokers immune to traditional anti-smoking campaigns. Many of them believe that smoking roll ups is a more 'organic' and healthy option compared to smoking pre-packaged cigarettes. They falsely believed that roll-ups have fewer additives and they genuinely enjoy the act of 'rolling up' and regard it as a real art form and skill.

Integrating Behaviour Change

Our strategic planning team and experts in response, media, digital and mobile put together an integrated behaviour change campaign, ‘Wise-up to Roll-ups’ that ran across the South West including a hard hitting TV and Radio campaign, an eye-catching Outdoor and Press campaign, mobile call-to-action, and a campaign support website. This included a number of pieces of proximity media including washroom panels and beer mats, sandwich bags and coffee cups, to ‘disrupt’ roll-up smokers when they were most engaged in their habit.

The creative for the outdoor and proximity campaign featured a series of posters designed to look like hand rolling tobacco pouches, but with the brand name replaced with an attention grabbing word such as ‘Stroke’, ‘Infertility’ or ‘Amputation’ which highlighted the real health risks that roll-up smokers were taking.

Further to this messaging, support was also provided to help HRT smokers to quit in the form of a ‘Wise-up Pouch’. Created in the style of a hand rolling tobacco pouch, the pack contained information about the dangers of hand rolling tobacco and quitting tools to aid smokers to quit. Smokers ordered a pouch, by texting WISE to a unique text number, 0800 028 0553, or by going online to the support website

The Result?

The success of the campaign is best demonstrated in the demand for the support kits. We had to go into reprint in order to keep up with the demand. Over 5,000 support kit pouches have been distributed and the campaign attracted attention and support from across the UK.

Here's what Professor Lindsey Davies, President of the Faculty of Public Health had to say about the campaign:

“This is a ground-breaking campaign highlighting the dangers that hand rolling tobacco can cause. We fully endorse this campaign. Rolling your own presents as many risks as do normal cigarettes.”

And our client, Gabriel Scally, Regional Director of Public Health and Smokefree South West spokesperson said:

“Bray Leino once again created a campaign that delivered beyond our expectations. Their work achieved a balance of cut through and creativity in a highly sensitive subject area. The claims had to be fully substantiated, compliant and yet make sure the message about the dangers of HRT smoking got through. It's been an incredible success”

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