Heart and Stroke Foundation
Quitters Unite Tobacco Awareness Program

This is not your father’s stop smoking campaign.

Young people know when they’re being talked down to. Especially when you’re trying to get them to quit smoking. To this cynical, savvy audience, most traditional tobacco awareness campaigns are seen as contrived, gimmicky or way too preachy. To connect with this audience, you need to speak to them on their terms.






In 2010, Context was hired by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to rebrand Quitters Unite, a quit support service and tobacco awareness program brand that targets young adults aged 18 to 24.

Our initial research found that traditional tobacco awareness campaigns aimed at young people often came across as nagging parents telling their kids that smoking is bad for them. Newsflash: They already know.

Further insight showed that young people don’t actually consider themselves smokers, but rather view their smoking behaviours as a day-to-day lifestyle choice.

So we needed to tap into their key motivators for quitting – the most important being financial, and the impact that smoking has on their ability to purchase things they want to treat themselves to. Our campaign associated the smoke-free lifestyle with fun, exciting, positive qualities that young people aspire to have.

Social media was a key channel for connecting with this audience – getting our audience to share their images and messages for us, so the message of a smoke-free lifestyle wasn’t coming from Quitters Unite but rather from their peers. By having our audience push our content to their social network, we were able to achieve a far greater degree of authenticity for the Quitters Unite brand and the smoke-free lifestyle it represents.


  • A winning lifestyle

    The “My Smoke-Free Lifestyle” Contest invites young people to share their smoke-free lifestyle stories for a chance to win.

  • The Heart of the Matter

    Tapping into what really motivates young people to quit.

  • Uniting Quitters

    The 2010 campaign drove more traffic to the website in seven weeks
    than all of 2009.

  • We teamed up with Junction Marketing, Booje Media and Green Couch Productions to develop the Smoke Eater – a machine that turns cigarettes into stuff you want. The Smoke Eater hit the streets of Vancouver in October 2011, showing hundreds of people that giving up cigarettes can be a rewarding experience.