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Examples of what these could be include: eliminating tobacco odour; % of nicotine expelled from body; pulse rate back to normal; risk of heart disease reduced; etc.
As mentioned previously, smokers often feel detached from the fatal, longer-term negative health effects of smoking, so we must focus our efforts on emphasising the most common, visible costs of smoking instead: bad odour, bad breath, stained teeth, and dry, discoloured skin.
Contrastingly, instant rewards from quitting to highlight would include improved body odour and your sense of taste returning, for example.
The more this data can be localised, the better, as bringing it home to smokers will make it much more effective.
Moreover, something else we can do to increase the likelihood of meeting our goal is to make the desired behaviour timely by highlighting the immediate costs of smoking as well as the immediate benefits of quitting.
“your habit is making you lose £100 each month”), rather than frame it as a gain (i.e. Once we’ve drawn smokers’ attention with the tactics outlined above, we’ll encourage them to make a public online pledge to a friend or relative to go smoke-free for a month.
This social commitment device will increase the likelihood of smokers keeping their promise, and will act as a foot in the door technique by getting them to complete a small easy task first (making a simple pledge), before moving on to the bigger task (quitting for a month).We are spotlighting some of the best essays from our MIPA qualifying courses and qualifications.Here, Epoch Design's Paula Torres Moneu looks at how behavioural science could be used to reduce UK smoking rates as part of the IPA's Applied Behavioural Economics course.To overcome this barrier, we would ask all smokers to download a specially designed quitting app following their online pledge submission, which will track their journey and will provide them with ongoing positive reinforcement in the form of numerous health progress bars, milestones, and a live counter of money they’ve prevented from losing thus far.It will be important to include a variety of short and long term achievements they can start earning from day one, that way keeping them engaged and encouraging them to continue with this process.The EAST framework proposed by the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team operates on the premise that to successfully encourage a behaviour, you must first make it Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely.According to Public Health England (2018), 60% of smokers already want to quit, so the first behaviour we need to encourage is to get them to quit today.New habits are often formed at times of high disruption (Shotton, 2019), making life events optimal occasions to target smokers with this type of messaging.One of the most frequent life events experienced by adults in the UK is changing jobs, with the highest rate of job quitting happening during the month of January (Crunch, 2017).Timing our campaign during January will do this as smokers are forced to endure the cold weather when going outside to smoke, making the discouraged behaviour less attractive.Last but not least, January is also a time awash with new year’s resolutions, which can easily resonate with our pledge call to action.