Is a Nudge in the right direction one toward e-cigs?

The Government’s behavioural insight team – also know as The Nudge Unit, have the task of nudging people toward behaviours that will hopefully improve their lives and the longevity of them. One of the nudges they are recently doing is to nudge folk to manage their nicotine addiction in a completely different way.



It appears that they have finally realised that the ‘quit or die’ method doesn’t work, people don’t quit and they do die, and neither does the NRT available really work, with it’s abysmal failure rate of over 80%. Now, let’s be clear, The Nudge Unit are not saying specifically that you should use e-cigs – if they had said that it would blazoned across the sky in bright green by us and you would hear us cheering all the way across the land. No, what they are saying is that they should be explored and encouraged.


“ A canon of behaviour change is that it is much easier to substitute a similar behaviour than to extinguish an entrenched habit. If alternative and safer nicotine products can be developed which are attractive enough to substitute people away from traditional cigarettes, then they have the potential to save 10’000 lives a year”


Allegedly, one nameless source from this group has said, “ a lot of countries are moving to ban e-cigs, we think that’s a mistake.”


The Nudge unit want e-cigs regulated as safe, but not regulated as rigorously as drugs, (we think the current regulations as a consumer product are working very well), allowing them to sit alongside traditional cigarettes in the supermarket – something that is already happening in many local shops and tobacconist.


Let’s hope the Government listen to this particular think tank.


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