KAIA Anti-Smoking Campaign
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KAIA Anti-Smoking Campaign

The fundamental problem is that smoking remains a widespread habit in the Middle East and among the Asian and Far Eastern countries from which KAIA receives most of its visitors.

Holmes Report


King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was not exactly burning down but there’s no smoke without fire and the level of pollution from cigarettes was way past tolerance. The fundamental problem is that smoking remains a widespread habit in the Middle East and among the Asian and Far Eastern countries from which KAIA receives most of its visitors.
Four years ago the airport authority attempted an anti-smoking campaign but this was a total failure due to a lack of strategic planning and weak implementation. Currently KAIA is implementing a major program of modernization and expansion, therefore it was decided the time is ripe for another campaign to ban smoking, enforceable by a 200 Saudi Riyals fine – approximately equal to GBP 34.  
The ban is applicable to passengers, visitors, airport staff and the staff of airlines and applies to all areas of the airport including terminals, gates, offices, restrooms, luggage areas, air side, transportation areas, service offices, lounges, restaurants and cafes. Smoking is permitted only in specially designated areas.  
This time KAIA management called in TRACCS for consultations and commissioned the agency to formulate a strategic plan and prepare an awareness campaign to be implemented prior to the start date of the legal ban which came into force on 7 November 2010.
TRACCS objective was to change public perception of the issue by emphasizing the fact that smoking was no longer an option but an illegal act penalized with a fine. The strategy was three-pronged: branding, media relations and internal alignment.
Branding: Design of branding materials was outsourced to Focus advertising agency and the campaign was implemented through signage consisting of posters on the highwaysleading to KAIA and sign boards throughout the airport facilities and in the designated smoking areas.
The branding campaign was supported by strategically positioned ushers, PA system announcements and advertising in newspapers and magazines.
Media Relations: TRACCS prepared a series of awareness articles and press releases in Arabic and English which the agency placed with key newspapers, magazines and internet portals resulting in an OTS of 1,895,965 with and equivalent advertising cost of 94,285 Saudi Riyals approximately equal to GBP 16.000.
Internal Alignment:  TRACCS developed a three day internal training program on the Smoking Ban Law and how to put the execution plan into effect in all the airport’s facilities.  Hosted by the airport, the program included employees of Passport and Immigration Administration, Airport Police, Customs, Airport Security and KAIA Administration.
Moneer Al Malki, Personal Communications Trainer and Account Manager at TRACCS Riyadh, conducted three workshops at KAIA in order to increase awareness among airport personnel of the Smoking Ban Law and the regulations related to it.
Trainees from various airport administrations, especially the Airport Security Unit, were educated on the following:
         Smoking is prohibited everywhere in the airport accept in the designated areas and violators will be fined SR200
         Any employee who violates the ban will be fined and his Security ID will be suspended.  
         Any employee found violating the ban for the second time will be fined and will have his Security ID withdrawn permanently.
         Specially trained security personnel from the Airport Security Unit only will be responsible for the supervision and follow up of the ban and issuing the SR 200 fine for anyone found in violation in all airport terminals and facilities.
         All fines collected from smokers who violate the ban will be deposited in a special account for the Ministry of Health Anti-Smoking Project to support the awareness programs being implemented.
On the first day the ban on smoking came into effect a total of 20 fines were imposed on violaters and by the end of the week the number of people caught smoking had gone down to zero.
The anti-smoking campaign achieved its objective in a very short space of time and due to the maintenance of prominently placed signage displaying the warning and continued vigilance by security personnel, Kings Abdul Aziz International Airport is now virtually a smoke free zone.
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