Brussels, 19th September, 2012 – The European Commission (EC) and the Saatchi & Saatchi Brussels consortium (SSB) was recognised yesterday with a Gold Euro Effie and the Best innovative use of Print Award for their role in the hugely successful pan-European “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” campaign ( The Gold Euro Effie, the highest achievement in proven effectiveness in marketing communications is a noteworthy accomplishment for the campaign. This marks the first time a European Institution receives such an industry award.

“Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” is a pan-European initiative that aims to reduce the burden of tobacco consumption amongst the 28 million smokers aged 24-35 in the EU, and the 700,000 preventable deaths caused annually. The campaign’s effectiveness is demonstrated in the 220,000 Europeans now seeking to quit smoking with its free online health tool iCoach. Furthermore, after just three months, 40% of surveyed iCoach users reported they had quit smoking. With this latest success, “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” has become the first anti-tobacco initiative to be recognised at the Euro Effies, signalling a new benchmark in innovation in smoking cessation.

Speaking as the award was collected at the ceremony at Viage, Brussels on 19th September Ms Paola Testori Coggi said: “It’s a great honour for “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” to be recognised with such a prestigious award. Currently close to a quarter of a million Europeans are seeking to quit smoking with the support of the campaign. This is a strong validation of the motivational approach we adopted. We look forward to the coming months of the campaign and to continuing to effect a positive and meaningful change in the health of Europe”

In developing “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” SSB adopted a pioneering ‘quit smoking’ approach; shifting the emphasis away from the negative health consequences of smoking, towards the benefits of becoming an ex-smoker. To reach key audiences the campaign used a multi-channel approach encompassing print, AV and online resources, including Facebook, plus national and international events underpinned at every stage with media relations. The campaign was further strengthened by the evidence-based quit smoking tool iCoach, available from today as an app for both for iPhone and Android

The campaign has attained marked success across Europe supporting, to date, 1 in every 500 smokers to give up the habit and become ‘unstoppable’ ex-smokers for life. Further findings reveal that 67% of smokers exposed to the campaign believe it will motivate people to stop and 80% agree it is a more convincing campaign compared to previous smoking cessation initiatives.

Notes to editors

About “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” Campaign

“Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” is a campaign that adopts a unique approach to supporting smoking cessation by focusing on the positive benefits of becoming and being an ex-smoker, rather than emphasising the negative health consequences of tobacco consumption. As such, “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” seeks to motivate men and women across the 27 EU Member States to stop smoking by inspiring them to be unstoppable in their smoke free lives and highlighting all of the potential opportunities that are open to them by becoming ex-smokers (financial, emotional, psychological).

In short, “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” aims to inspire the understanding that giving up cigarettes is not about stopping something, but about starting something new.

You can find further information on the campaign here:

  • There are 28 million smokers aged 24-35 in the EU
  • There are nearly 700,000 premature deaths caused by tobacco each year
  • 220,000 Europeans are seeking to quit smoking with iCoach
  • After 3 months, 40% of iCoach users surveyed reported they had quit smoking

Background to this initiative

The European Commission launched the “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” initiative on 16th June 2011 to help reduce the burden of tobacco related disease and death across Europe. The campaign aims to encourage young adults in the 25 to 34 age group to stop smoking and is the successor to a previous EU initiative "HELP - For a life without tobacco" which ran for five years from 2005.

Media Enquiries:

Orla Barnewell; orla.barnewell[at]; +44 (0)20 7798 9900

Download the Press Release here.

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