“Cancer Research UK worked closely with them to build public awareness of the case for introducing plain, standardised tobacco packaging. The Plain Packs Protect campaign and website provided a rallying point for the broad-based partnership work. Together we generated a fantastic response with well over 200,000 members of the public submitting their support into the Government consultation.” Dr Jean King, Director of Tobacco Control, Cancer Research UK
The UK Government launched a consultation on the plain standardised packaging of tobacco products in 2012 and asked for responses from the public and experts.
Despite huge pressure from the tobacco industry, this small team worked alongside national partners including ASH, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, FRESH, Tobacco Free Futures, Royal College of Nursing, Faculty of Public Health, British Thoracic Society and a host of leading health bodies and charities to host a national campaign named Plain Packets Protect to raise public support for the legislation.
With a modest budget, our team devised an innovative campaign that leveraged future product packaging design. The national ‘Plain Packets Protect’ was not only the first of its kind but became an award winning billboard campaign.
Working in close collaboration with national partners, the campaign raised awareness and educated parents on branded packaging of tobacco products as well as highlighting the impact smoking has on children.
Using a variety of engagement techniques, regular MP briefings and press releases, the team successfully advocated the benefits of supporting the campaign by maximising the number of people who signed up to the campaign.
- At the end of the campaign, there was a 20 per cent increase in support for plain standardised cigarette packaging, with overall awareness increasing by 13 per cent.
- Plain packaging became law in May 2016, protecting our future generations from another form of tobacco advertising.
More than 211,000 people signed up to this ground-breaking campaign via the website, postcards and at face-to-face events. The sign-up data gathered was then submitted to the Department of Health in support of the standardised packaging of tobacco products.
Smoking rates in the South West now stand at just under 17% – one of the lowest levels in England – according to the latest ONS General Lifestyle Survey.