The Filter, ASH Wales’ flagship youth stop smoking service, is to launch its latest campaign this week, using popular image-sharing application Snapchat to connect young people with advice and support to help them quit smoking.

The Big Lottery funded Filter project is in its third year of supporting young smokers to quit, sharing information and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The new campaign, ‘Snaptober’, has been timed with the national Stoptober campaign, which encourages people to quit smoking for the duration of October. Young people will be able to follow The Filter (+thefilterwales) on Snapchat and receive tips and advice, each day during October, on topics such as how to cope with cravings and how much money quitting smoking could save.

The Snapchat campaign will be launched on Thursday 2nd October at Forsythia Youth project in Merthyr Tydfil, where young people will work with The Filter’s youth development team to create a large spray painted graffiti mural to promote the campaign. The Filter project has developed a close working relationship with the Forsythia youth project over the last two years and gained the trust of local young people, who have participated in educational workshops. Taking part in ‘Snaptober’ will be the next step for these young smokers to quit for good.

The former Youth Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil, Daniel Walsh, was part of the Forsythia youth project, and has recently quit smoking. He said:

“I am really excited that The Filter team are coming to Merthyr Tydfil to launch their Snaptober campaign. I was grateful for their support when I recently quit smoking, and talking to the advisers was really helpful. Using Snapchat is a good way to reach young people as it’s something most young people are already using anyway.”

Rhys Simmons, Youth Development Manager at ASH Wales, said:

“Working with young people on a project like the Snaptober mural is a great opportunity to engage them in discussions and information about smoking and health. The Filter has worked closely with the young people from Forsythia over several years and built up a trusting relationship which enables us to work effectively and promote positive health messages. This is why we’ve chosen it as the location to launch our new Snapchat campaign, which makes the Stoptober challenge relevant to young people in Wales.”

Young people who would like advice and support to quit, or have questions about smoking, can follow The Filter on Snapchat ‘thefilterwales’.