Is belief enough for smokers to quit and buy Nicotex

In India, the smoking de-addiction segment is valued at over Rs 100 crore annually, and nicotine polacrilex products constitute around 70% of the segment. Nicotex a dominant player has launched We Believe You Can campaign but will belief be a strong reason for smokers to quit and buy Nicotex

Charles Duhigg in his fascinating book The Power of Habit talks about the habit loop. “We know that habit cannot be eradicated – it must, instead, be replaced. And we know that habits are more malleable when the Golden Rule of habit change is applied: if we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted.”

He further adds that it is not enough. “For a habit to stay changed, people must believe change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.”

If you believe, you can introduce new habits and remove the ones that don’t add value to your life. You can quit smoking too if you believe in yourself. This also is the core proposition of Nicotex with a commitment to help smokers. Early last month the brand unveiled a new campaign “We Believe You Can.”

We Believe You Can campaign

To begin with, the brand has launched a minute-long video in different regional languages along with Hindi. The motivational video starts with a voiceover saying why would someone believe that if you are smoking for the last 10 years can resist it and live. Smoking is a habit that is not only caused by a smokers urge but also driven by the environment, friends and life situations. The video ends with a message that it won’t happen in one day but one day it will happen.

However, the hub is the Nicotex website that starts by asking to find your quit journey to success stories and building a quit plan. Finding your quit journey is an interesting way to motivate a smoker to help him grow in his quitting journey. All these journeys are backed by content from the blog. For example, if you are a smoker who is ready to quit then he is being served with content like – “12 amazing benefits of quitting smoking”, “Positive things that happen to your body when you quit smoking”, etc.

The website has also integrated a chatbot that basically helps you in building your quit plan. Depending on the stage of your quit journey, the chatbot will pull up content options for you. The entire journey comes to an end by connecting you to an expert over a call or going back to the main menu.

And to complete the cycle you have inspiring stories from real life like this one, in one such video a lady working in the advertising field quit smoking in a matter of months and it’s been 2 years since she had quit. Well, the intent is good but it is quite preachy. More than a success story it looked to me as a product guide. Checked a few more and most of them are boring except the Karan Kaul video.

To increase the reach of the campaign and get more visibility the brand has tied up with publishers like The Better India, ScoopWhoop, YourStory and Humans Of Bombay for native content.

Having publishers for your outreach partner on digital is a must for a strategist. And the agency has done a great job for the brand on this by having all the big names on the plate. Any reason why a regional content publisher was missed out? (Read: How regional is defining India’s digital future )

Also, social media platforms such as Facebook page has all kinds of content from Amazon product discounts to topical content. But why is the content on the website not integrated on social media? After all, the website is the only property a brand owns.

The blog integration on the website is quite naive, a relook can give better results in the long run.

Smoking cessation and nicotine de-addiction market

According to The Tobacco Atlas report (pdf), tobacco will kill one billion people this century. India is home to 12% of the world’s smokers and according to WHO, more than 10 million die each year due to tobacco in India.

Quitting is a choice but it isn’t easy. Thus it becomes a great opportunity for nicotine replacement products – globally an estimated market size at USD 2.28 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.95% from 2017 to 2025. Report from Grand View Research says that global smoking cessation and nicotine de-addiction market is expected to reach over USD 21.8 billion by 2024.

The nicotine replacement products market is predominantly being driven by an illness such as lung cancer, cardiac diseases, etc caused by the rising consumption of tobacco in various forms. In 2016 the global nicotine replacement products market touched USD 2.20 billion.


In India, the de-addiction segment is valued at over Rs 100 crore annually, and nicotine polacrilex products constitute around 70% of the segment. From Cipla to ITC everyone wants a pie of the de-addiction market.

Cipla the parent company posted a 5.97% year-on-year growth in constipated profit at Rs 478.19 for the quarter ended June 30; was the first one to get into the nicotine replacement therapy market in 2001 and enjoys a market share of 81% (2013 news report)

NRT, a nascent landscape is slowly becoming competitive. With ITC entering into the market, Cipla’s Nicotex is not going to have an easy ride.

Will belief be enough for smokers to quit and buy Nicotex?

“All our life, so far as it has a definite form, is but a mass of habits,” William James wrote in 1892. The prologue of “The Power of Habit” starts with a fascinating story of Lisa Allen – a 34-year-old who started smoking and drinking at sixteen and struggled with obesity all her life. Her twenties were in debt and her longest job lasted less than a year.

Her latest report was that she hadn’t touched a cigarette in the last 4 years, lost 60 pounds, ran a marathon. She also has a home and studying for her master’s degree. How did this happen? Charles says that it is the “keystone habit” – Lisa had focused on changing just one habit – smoking – at first. Lisa had taught herself how to program the other routines in her life, as well.

keystone habit of smoking
Keystone habit

However, you can’t leave belief out of the picture. So Nicotex’s belief is at the right spot. Nicotex is trying to reduce one habit (smoking) by stacking with another one(Nicotex gum). Basically folowing the Keystone habit. Hopefully, one doesn’t become addicted to Nicotex as nicotine gums do have side effects.

James Clear author of Atomic Habits thinks, “You can break a habit, but you’re unlikely to forget it. Self-control is a short term strategy, not a long-term one.” He thinks that a more reliable approach is to cut bad habits off at the source. Eliminate bad habits by reducing the exposure to the cue that causes it. This could be the next insight for Nicotex’s new brand campaign.

But I would still go with Charles’s on “keystone habit” powered with belief. I transformed myself by quitting drinking and smoking. The habit change happened (no NRT) because I want to have a healthy mind and body. Not an easy ride, when you have to say no to your brother but that’s when the belief comes in place.