Swap to Stop, a campaign aimed at reducing tobacco use in rural communities and by rodeo athletes, improved its campaign and found success at the Ponoka Stampede.
Between 2,000 and 2,300 people attended the three booths and took information for themselves or a family member. Also, 12,000 units of Nicorette gum were given out.
“We were very pleased with the rodeo” said Laura Fitzgerald of Alberta Limited and a campaign organizer.
Fitzgerald said the team made contact with double the amount of people they had at the Grande Prairie Stampede. According to Fitzgerald this is because there was more information available at the Ponoka Stampede and it went for longer.
People they’d seen in Grande Prairie came to talk to them at Ponoka. Fitzgerald said.
“Word of mouth played a big part in it.”
The campaign team also went out into the crowd to talk to those who they’d seen often.
Fitzgerald said conversations on the subject were more open at the Ponoka Stampede.
Also, compared to Grande Prairie, Fitzgerald found that Ponoka had a smaller smoking section.
She said her team actually had to find the smokers when they arrived.
“Ponoka’s much more careful in how they plan,” Fitzgerald said. “That Ponoka rodeo was unbelievable.”
Swap to Stop is planning to go to the CFR, but because of the success of the campaign they want to attend other summer rodeos.