Behaviour Change by Design

Our vision is to accelerate progress in changing behaviour by redesigning environments to improve health for all.

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Cigarette pack sizes and smoking

Posted: 19/07/2021

Smoking remains one of the largest risk factors for preventable disease and is also one of the major contributors to the gap in life expectancy and years lived in good health between the most and least affluent groups.

The size of a pack is one of the last few ways that tobacco companies can directly encourage smoking. Read more about the need for evidence to show whether capping cigarette pack sizes would help people to cut down their smoking here.

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The Research Programme

We are a Wellcome-funded collaboration bringing together a team of behavioural and cognitive scientists across the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol. Our aim is to run a series of field and laboratory studies to test the promise of a type of intervention – altering cues in our immediate physical environments – to promote healthier behaviour. These are sometimes known as “choice architecture” or “nudging”. We are also interested in how to facilitate the implementation of this evidence. Ultimately, our hope is that this will lead to improved health for everyone.

In the most ambitious co-ordinated set of studies to date, we will conduct a series of linked field and laboratory studies to estimate effect sizes of promising Choice Architecture interventions to reduce food, alcohol and tobacco consumption. Enabled by unprecedented collaborations, these will be conducted in supermarkets, bars and cafeterias with interventions optimised through laboratory studies determining mechanisms.

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