Stoptober, the 28-day mass quit smoking attempt from Public Health England, has revamped this year’s campaign with a Facebook Messenger bot as it looks to extend its influence and convince more people to stop smoking.
The decision to run a messaging bot this year is based on insights from Global Web Index which show Facebook Messenger to be the most popular messaging app in the UK and the second most popular social network, behind Facebook.
The bot will provide instant practical support when smokers struggle with cravings or need a motivational boost and will deliver daily support messages.
The campaign will continue to offer a programme of daily email support as well as help and advice via the updated Stoptober app.
This year Stoptober is being supported by celebrity smokers Phil Tufnell who is a captain on the BBC’s Question of Sport, Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood and Natasha Hamilton from Atomic Kitten, who will all be trying to quite themselves.
“We’re excited to launch our new-look support package which this year includes Facebook Messenger, a first for the Stoptober campaign, and a reflection of PHE’s commitment to developing technology first solutions for an ever evolving consumer marketplace,” said Sheila Mitchell, marketing director at Public Health England.
“Some digital technology pundits are predicting that chat-bots are even overtaking social media in usage and we want to ensure Stoptober is supporting smokers to quit in the most popular communication channels.”