Arkansas to Use Social Media to Stop Kids From Smoking

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The State of Arkansas, Department of Health is seeking Social Marketing agencies to address Tobacco Use among Country Youth and Young Adults. They seek a vendor to provide the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP) with implementation of tobacco-use prevention initiatives targeting youth and young adults that identify with the Country culture in three (3) rural counties with the highest tobacco use rate.

History of Tobacco Usage in Arkansas

TPCP uses best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social norms change models, and marketing segmentation strategies to inform our advertising and marketing approach. These tools have demonstrated the importance of identifying at-risk and underserved populations, and that the frequency of a behavior decreases when that behavior becomes less acceptable and less desirable. Arkansas is making definite headway in the fight against tobacco. In 2005, the high school students tobacco use rate in Arkansas was 37.5% (YRBS). By 2015, that rate had been reduced to 26.2% (YRBS). For the same period, smokeless tobacco use among high school students has shown a slow decrease from 13.7% to 10.6% (YRBS). Despite this progress, there are still many areas in desperate need of improvement.

Rural teens have some of the highest tobacco use rates for both cigarettes and smokeless products. Past tobacco prevention efforts have appealed mostly to urban and suburban teens leaving this disparate population without impactful education and prevention interventions.

The tobacco industry spends an estimated $119 million in advertising and promotion every year in Arkansas, presenting a considerable challenge to those interested in promoting the health of Arkansans. In order to successfully promote the tobacco-free lifestyles, TPCP needs to counteract the tobacco industry’s marketing of their products with aggressive “counter-marketing” campaigns. Strategies include using the tools and techniques of social marketing to decrease the demand for tobacco products and to continue progress around changing the social norm around tobacco use.

Scope of Work

  • Social Branding

    Implement evidence-based or best practice-based social branding model that targets youth and young adults who identify with Country culture. This social brand should embody the image and identity of the Country lifestyle and break its association with tobacco use in order to promote behavior change among Country youth and young adults. As part of this brand, the vendor should consider all campaign components to ensure a successful implementation, including website, social media channels, paid digital media, local events, etc.

  • Message Testing

To ensure messages are framed for the highest impact within the target audience, TPCP prefers to have message testing conducted,

  • Collaboration with Partners

Cooperate fully with designated personnel from ADH/TPCP on a quarterly basis, and with other media/health communication partners, evaluation partners as appropriate

  • Creative Concepts

Partner with TPCP in the selection and implementation of social marketing campaigns. Campaign components must be approved by TPCP.

Proposal due by July 8, 2016 to:

Timothy Smith, CPPB DH-16-0003
Procurement Branch Chief Arkansas Department of Health
4815 West Markham, Slot 58
Little Rock, AR 72205

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