Danish Cancer Society thanks smokers for smoking

Anti-smoking campaigns don’t normally thank smokers for smoking. But the Danish Cancer Society, philanthropic foundation TrygFonden and creative agency &Co are doing just that in their latest campaign for a Smoke-Free Future.

The new initiative is a unique take on the anti-smoking message which has been propagated for decades all over the world. Creative agency &Co has honed in on the insight that today, even smokers themselves want a smoke-free future.  Which is why this campaign underlines the fact that most Danes – also the parts of the population that smoke – don’t want children and young people to start smoking.  The campaign shows adult smokers using various creative ways to hide their cigarettes from the younger generation. This is because making sure that kids don’t witness it can ultimately help them to not start smoking themselves.

&Co worked closely with Danish production company, Bacon and director Martin Werner, to bring the idea to life.

The strategy is backed up by research: a whopping 77% of Danish smokers want a smoke-free Denmark for children and young people by 2030, according to a study from 2018 titled “The Dane’s view on tobacco”  

“In my view, we’re simply dividing the roles” says Johan Køhler, copywriter and Partner at & Co. “Because you might be a smoker, but you’re more than that. You could also be a parent, grandparent, aunt, and so many other things that are more important than simply being a smoker. When 3 out of 4 say they regret taking that first drag, they say so because they now know the effects of tobacco. They are expert witnesses that are worth listening to. And we agree with them in this case – the 77%, in any case: we don’t want to pass the tobacco on to our children and grandchildren.”

We are incredibly close to a milestone in Denmark. When Smoke-Free Future was founded four years ago, only 13% of Danes believed that we’d be able to stop passing on our bad habits to our children and grandchildren. Even though we’ve known all along what it requires to achieve this.”  Says Susanne Bjærge, Campaign Manager at Smoke-Free Future.

“First and foremost, it requires smoke-free school hours, neutral design on cigarette packaging and that tobacco is hidden from plain sight in shops. All these measures are included in the government’s plan against the use of tobacco that politicians are currently debating, and that we hope will become everyday practice in Denmark in a matter of time. And it’s absolutely crucial that they remember the most effective measure: a significant increase in price.”

Politically, there’s been signs of a majority for the government’s action against tobacco. And there’s support from the people of Denmark – even smokers. 

“That is why we say thank you” says Morten Fabricius, Account Executive and Partner at & Co. “We’re at a tipping point in halting the passing on of tobacco to the next generation. We need to show that we’re many who want the same thing for the future.”

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