Adapting a social marketing operation during a Pandemic: The French Mois sans tabac in the time of COVID-19
More details
Hide details
Santé publique France, the French National Public Health Agency, Saint-Maurice, France
Publication date: 2022-07-05
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2022;8(Supplement):A111
Mois sans tabac (MST) is a social marketing initiative inspired by the British Stoptober. Organized every November in France since 2016, it aims to encourage smokers to stop smoking for 30 days. Smokers are encouraged to register on a website and to use quitting tools (QT): app, website, and quitline. Between 2016 and 2019, annual registrations ranged from 158290 to 243579 and the estimation of quit attempts were from 360000 to 550000.

To describe how the operation was adapted to maintain the level of awareness and commitment to tobacco cessation during COVID-19.

A narrative description of the technical adaptations of MST in 2020 and 2021 and a comparison of key outcomes with previous years.

In 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 prevented Santé publique France from organizing local and face-to-face activities. Collective mobilization and media impact were more difficult to achieve. The program was adapted with remote services, digitalization of content, and changes in the media plan. The number of registrations decreased by 38% in 2020 compared to 2019 and by 11% in 2021 compared to 2020. QT use also declined: -25% for the calls on the quitline, -26% for the traffic on the website and -12% for app downloads between 2019 and 2020. The decline was even steeper between 2020 and 2021: -29% for the quitline and -48% for the app.

Changes made during the pandemic contributed to maintaining interest in smoking cessation. Indicators decrease can be partly explained by the pandemic: a lassitude from the numerous health messages, a lower visibility of the media campaign, a missing collective dimension and the lack of field activities, which did not allow for a mass mobilization nor a collective impulse. Another explanation comes from the loss of momentum of MST, which leads to rethink the operation for the next editions.

Journals System - logo
Scroll to top