Targeting a new audience of smokers:
‘Wise-Up to Roll-Ups’ a world first

26% of those aware of the campaign claimed they had changed their behaviour in some way. Verified awareness of the campaign has increased by a fifth over two years.’

Wise-Up to Roll-Ups Campaign

In 2011, Smokefree South West developed the world’s first ever multi-media campaign aimed at targeting hand rolling tobacco (HRT) smokers.
The campaign, Wise-Up to Roll-Ups launched in February 2011 and has run year on year, proving incredibly successful in prompting more than 200,000 smokers in the South West to change their behaviour and make a positive step towards quitting.
Research has shown that over 40% of smokers claimed to use HRT in the South West of England, which is the highest in the whole country. In some areas in the region, the figure is over 60%.
Previous assumptions focussed on price as the main reason for choosing this form of tobacco.
Smokefree South West commissioned qualitative research to explore beliefs about HRT and identify interventions to dispel myths and reframe beliefs. The key findings were:

Wise-up to roll-ups Impotence
Many smokers believe that smoking HRT represents a more natural, ‘organic’ and healthier option.

Most prefer HRT and believe it is less dangerous than manufactured cigarettes. This belief enables many users to deflect current prompts to quit smoking as they feel they are already reducing harm.

So strong are the perceived benefits beyond price, some claim they would continue to use it even if manufactured cigarettes were the same price.

Many believe it allows them greater control over their smoking by manipulating the amount of tobacco they add.

HRT smokers may be immune to traditional anti-smoking campaigns. They don’t believe they are ‘typical’ smokers.

The findings indicated the need for an innovative, fresh campaign tailored to achieve a desired perception change. In response to this, a ground-breaking campaign was developed to raise awareness that smoking ‘roll-ups’ is just as bad for you as smoking ordinary cigarettes.

Hard-hitting television and radio adverts were broadcast across the South West. Billboards washroom panels, sandwich bags and coffee cups were designed to mimic HRT pouches but featured shocking messages.

A supporting dedicated website and stakeholder materials were developed. An innovative Wise-Up to Roll-Ups support pack, in the style of a HRT pouch, contained information about myths surrounding HRT and quitting tools to aid smokers. Targeted digital advertising encouraged smokers to order a ‘pouch’.

Evaluation

Smokefree South West uniquely and extensively track campaigns and smoking trends every three months by speaking to over 1,000 smokers.

The latest tracking shows the following:

Verified awareness of the campaign has increased by a fifth over two years.

26% of those aware (verified) of the ad claimed they had changed their behaviour in some way – more than 200,000 smokers!

The attitude statement ‘Hand Rolled cigarettes are just as bad for you as manufactured cigarettes’ has achieved increased levels of agreement by 30%.

Those who claim to have made a serious attempt to give up in the last year have risen by over a quarter up to 37%.

Nearly 15,000 support pouches were ordered. The response rate of ordering the ‘pouch’ showed that the campaign had effectively targeted a challenging demographic.

For more information on the ‘Wise-Up to Roll-Ups’ campaign, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it