The Filter youth programme is the only smoking information service in Wales for young people. The team have pioneered the use of social media for health promotion since the day the project was launched.

Many third sector organisations and youth services in Wales have social media ‘tacked on’ to their core work. Often you’ll hear “We must do something on Facebook as well” when a campaign is developed. The difference with The Filter is that campaigns are developed for social media because the team recognises how essential these platforms are when it comes to reaching young people.

This year is the second that Wales has had its own Stoptober campaign. This is a really effective campaign which encourages adults to quit smoking for a month. The Filter team saw an opportunity to adapt the Stoptober message and aim it at young people, developing a campaign to be delivered over the Snapchat social networking app.

Snapchat is very popular among young people (according to statistics from May, its users are sending around 700 million photos and videos every day), so this makes it an ideal way to promote the Stoptober message in a relevant way, sharing tips and providing support.

The app enables users to create photos and videos and share them with friends for a limited time before they disappear. Its immediacy has a strong appeal for users and it has become a go-to platform for informal communication with friends.

The Filter Snapchat campaign was launched at the beginning of October with the Forsythia youth project on The Gurnos estate in Merthyr Tydfil. The group spray painted a Snapchat logo mural on the side of a soon-to-be-demolished building.

The ‘Snaptober’ campaign is rapidly gaining followers and during Stoptober, motivational messages are sent out every day. Follow +thefilterwales