Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Lobby Watch

The Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 16 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1648
  1. Jane Cassidy, freelance journalist
  1. janecassi2{at}

What is it?

Being rewarded for giving up smoking and being forced to choose whether or not to become an organ donor—these are among the first ideas to be rolled out by the UK Cabinet Office team popularly known as the “nudge unit.”

Set up six months ago, the team is looking to use psychology to influence the choices we make, and health issues are high on its agenda.

The high street pharmacy chain Boots has signed up to pilot the smoking cessation project. People who make a commitment to quit, possibly in a written contract, will get rewards when they pass regular tests proving that they haven’t been smoking.

Meanwhile people renewing or …

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