78,000 people die each year in the UK of smoking-related diseases, let alone globally. Smoking by parents, primarily by the mother, is known to cause prenatal growth problems and infant mortality. The cost to society is considerable. Most countries carry health warnings on tobacco products. Text-based warnings are now considered to be totally ineffective. Those consisting of negative imagery with a caption are known to be 5% effective over the long-term.

The behavioural insights concept is to replace these negative messages with positive ones about the benefit of a smoke-free lifestyle. A brainstorming session with a group of friends produced the generic message; “Your life will be better without.” These mock-ups illustrate the concept.

Given the powerful vested interests involved, it seems likely that the route to a trial would need to be through the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health.