How do you convince 14 – 25-year olds to quit smoking? You don’t.

This is the story about how The Danish Cancer Society went from using scare tactics to tapping into youth culture using positivity and nudging to fight smoking.


Young people are immortal to scare tactics. They simply don’t react to them and keep on smoking – one of the main reasons being that smoking is perceived as cool because they see cigarettes on the lips of cool people. We wanted to show the young Danes that they are actually manipulated into thinking that smoking is cool.


We created a social experiment in which cigarettes were replaced with lollipops. Without telling anyone, we had a large number of famous Danish influencers to post lollipop photos on social media platforms using #lollipop. The national media picked up on this new and unknown #lollipop phenomenon and covered it in broad media. With a 48% awareness of the hashtag #lollipop, we launched the real campaign – an ambassador driven effort with a massive PR, event and digital track, promoting X-HALE, an app that can help you quit smoking.


On average the Cool Without Smoke campaign reached every Dane 27 times across social (109M impressions), PR (17M impressions) and paid media (25M impressions).

Within the target group we exceeded all the KPIs set for the campaign.
Awareness of the campaign: 53% (KPI 50%)

Ad Liking: 64% (KPI 50%)
Find it relevant for themselves: 30% (KPI 25%)
Find it relevant for young people: 79% (KPI 50%)
Have considered whether it's cool to smoke: 22% (KPI 10%)

But most importantly - 16.531 young Danes subscribed to the ‘Quit smoking’-app and 2.500 of them are still in the program. Ain’t that cool?