Support for national campaigns

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Throughout the year, there are a number of significant national and international awareness days that are appropriate to promote the smokefree messages to staff, students and families. The purpose of these campaigns is to raise awareness of the harms of tobacco and generate a ‘call to action’ for smokers to get support.

Schools can use these events to communicate key messages about smoking and to reinforce the smokefree policy throughout the year. Often there are free resources available to support events online.

Below are four key events that fit perfectly with smoking prevention:

Event Date Purpose

4 February

World Cancer Day

Aimed at raising awareness and improving education around preventable cancer deaths. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable cancer and at least 69 known carcinogenic chemicals are found in cigarettes. Official website of World Cancer Day by UICC | 4 February

Second Wednesday in March

National No Smoking Day

This national campaign has run since 1984 and aims to encourage smokers to quit, not just for the day but for life. Campaign resources can usually be accessed through the PHE Resource Campaign Service Campaign Resource Centre (

31 May

World No Tobacco Day

Run by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this campaign highlights the dangers of tobacco but also focuses on the questionable business practices of tobacco companies and how they affect the world population. It is particularly relevant to some of the messages that engage young people, such as the impact of tobacco on the environment and poorer communities. World No Tobacco Day (

1 October


A long-running campaign that encourages people to try to quit for 28 days. This is in recognition that once people have quit for this period of time, they are more likely to quit for life. Resource packs are often available for this, but usually not until late September. Visit Campaign Resource Centre (

How can we support these campaigns in our setting?

There are lots of ways in which schools can use the above campaigns to reinforce the smokefree message. Some examples are below:

  • As part of a health and social care/PSHE project task students to undertake a campaign. This could include a promotional stand, producing posters, videos or power points
  • Use the day as an opportunity to send messages home to parents/carers
  • Hold an assembly on the dangers of tobacco, ideally run by students
  • Use school social media to promote the campaigns

Don’t forget to promote your local stop smoking service, Smokefree Hampshire.