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Financial incentives boost stop smoking efforts

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People trying to stop smoking are more likely to quit if they are offered financial incentives, according to a study conducted in the US

Researchers randomly assigned 878 employees of a multinational company to a group that received information about smoking-cessation or a group that received financial incentives plus information about stop smoking programs.

Participants received $100 for completion of a smoking-cessation program, $250 for stopping smoking within 6 months of enrolment in the study and $400 for abstaining from smoking for 6 months after quitting.

The group who received financial incentives were more likely to complete the smoking cessation programme, stop smoking within 6 months of enrolment in the study and abstain from cigarettes for up to 12 months.

New EnglandJournal of Medicine (2009) 12;360: 7, 699-709

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