Money In, Cigarettes Out

Getting people to give up nicotine is notoriously tough, but a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers suggests an effective motivator: cash. Not just getting cash for quitting but losing your own money.

In the study, the researchers found that cash rewards are nice but having smokers risk their own money is particularly effective. Participants who put down a $150 deposit would receive their money back and up to $800 bonus if they quit smoking and stayed quit. This group was twice as likely to stop smoking for at least 6 months as those who just received reward money. And they were 5 times as likely to stop as those who just received free smoking cessation aids.

The Quote: "A dollar is not a dollar, and how you design smoking cessation programs of the same approximate value goes a long way toward determining how effective these programs will be," says Scott Halpern, a University of Pennsylvania professor.
 

NPR

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