Tried and tested ideas for events

When creating your event think about who you want to reach with the information. New mums? How about a stall at a mum and baby group? Manual workers? Try getting a local factory on board and set up an information day on-site. A local community? Contact the local town hall or community centre to see if you can set up an event there.

Whoever you're targeting, think about where they are on a day-to-day basis and make it easy for them to get to you and your information and help. Have a look at the ideas below and see if you can think of any others.

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The classic No Smoking Day activity and always one of the most effective ways of getting the message across.

Find yourself a prominent spot, somewhere with loads of people passing by. Always ask permission to use your location and find out about fire precautions in the building.

Bring attention to your stall by decorating it with No Smoking Day materials. With a little imagination you can even adapt the materials to make them even more eye-catching.

If you can find a local personality, or even get yourself and colleagues in fancy dress, it's a great way of drawing attention to your stall. Carbon monoxide testing is also an excellent way of drawing the crowds.

Make sure you have plenty of No Smoking Day literature to give away telling people where they can get help in giving up smoking, or signing them up to your local stop smoking service there and then.

And make sure to let your local media know - a good photo story helps reach even more people with your message.

Workplace activities

No Smoking Day is a perfect opportunity to introduce a workplace smoking campaign or policy. At its simplest you can put up posters and give out literature in the places where smokers can easily pick up information.

Other ideas include workplace competitions with No Smoking Day materials as prizes, email health notes and putting materials into payslips.

Helping employees stop smoking can reduce staff absences and increase productivity. Have a look at the workplace guide for more details of running a workplace campaign.


Pharmacists often get involved with No Smoking Day and are usually very keen to work with organisers to promote the day.

Pharmacists can provide a great deal of support for smokers who often find it easier to return to them for support rather than trying to remake appointments with their GP.

Window displays are a top attention grabber so get creative and go wild! You could also try carbon monoxide testing in store or do progress checking with quitters.

Our pharmacy dispensing bags (see right) are really popular so you'll find them again in our list of campaign materials (pdf) - ask pharmacists to use these in the run-up to No Smoking Day to promote the date and the help available.

We have a guide for pharmacists and pharmacy assistants on taking part in No Smoking Day here.

Leisure centres

Leisure centres are often eager to promote the benefits of exercise and giving up smoking. Many will have space in their reception for a No Smoking Day stall, or for leaflets on giving up.

See if you can get staff to wear No Smoking Day T-shirts (see right) for the week. You could also ask about free day-passes for smokers who are giving up.

Shopping centres

There is huge scope for activities in shopping centres. Some people have used No Smoking Day to launch smokefree policies, others have organised road show type events with keep fit demonstrations, look-a-likes to give out information, healthy food displays and cigarette exchanges.

You could simply just have a stall to pass out information to passers by.

Maternity campaigns

Link with your local maternity unit to promote No Smoking Day. Give out No Smoking Day baby nursery thermometers to parents of babies born on the Day.

You could even get involved in the build up to No Smoking Day by helping expectant mothers get ready to stop. Have a look at our guide for midwives here.

Pubs and clubs

With pubs and clubs now smokefree, you have lots of opportunities to target smokers fed up of going outside and looking for help and support to quit smoking.

Get pubs to use No Smoking Day beer mats, and put some leaflets on the bar. Other popular activities include bar quizzes, and getting the staff to wear No Smoking Day T-shirts.

Clubs could hold No Smoking Day nights, discounting entry to people who have low carbon monoxide readings.

The Fire Service

Cigarettes and other smoking related materials are the biggest cause of house fires in the UK. Get your local fire service to bring a fire appliance to your event for photo calls and distribute No Smoking Day information to the public.

The Fire and Rescue Service is a campaign partner for No Smoking Day and can help you contact your local station.

Local celebrities

Big celebrities can be hard to get hold of, but you can always approach some local characters. Local DJs can be a great way to spread the message and get people along to your event, especially if they are willing to compère the event.

Local dignitaries are also popular, especially if you get them to wear their robes - it makes a great photo.

If you have a local town crier they too can draw attention to your No Smoking Day event. Look-a-likes can often be found through local agents in the phone book and create a good interest grabber.

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