We Helped Norway Quit Smoking

Geelmuyden.Kiese’s campaign for Norway’s Directorate of Health and Social Affairs helped Norwegians quit smoking. Public health improved and the tobacco industry received a punch on the nose.

For several years, Geelmuyden.Kiese has worked with anti-tobacco campaigns for the Directorate of Health and Social Affairs. The goal has been to contribute to a process of raising awareness around the damage done by smoking tobacco, and reducing smoking among the population.

The campaigns ran over several years and utilized phased communication:

• 2003: We encouraged attention and debate around tobacco’s harmful effects on the body through the campaign «Every cigarette does damage».
• 2004: Attention arose around a new common enemy: the tobacco industry.
• 2005: A smoking ban was introduced for all restaurants and bars under the headline «The right to a smoke free work environment.»
• 2006: KOLS disease was used as a means to inform the public about tobacco’s harmful effects through the campaign «Smoking takes your breath away.»

We executed campaigns that used multiple channels with a combination of PR, media alliances and mass communication.

The results of this campaign was a unique documented effect. In 2003, 90 percent of the population had noticed the campaign. The second campaign phase generated media mentions estimated to be worth 23,5 million NOK. The campaign has also had a good effect on Norwegians’ smoking habits: the share of smokers has gone down from 33% to 25% from 1998-2005. Another survey shows that 31 percent of the adult population smoked daily in 2001, while that number decreased to 19 percent in 2011. The largest decrease was among the younger segment of the population: from 29 to 12 percent.

A survey carried out by SIRUS from 2006 found reason to believe that the anti-smoking campaign had created a readiness to quit smoking among the population. Through these campaigns, the Directorate of Health and Social Affairs gathered the support of the public opinion through advertising, thereby creating a general acceptance for the introduction of the smoking ban.