Paying people to quit smoking raises chance of success by 50 per cent, research finds


PAYING people to quit smoking improves their chances of success by 50 per cent, a review found.

Some 7 per cent of smokers quit for six months or more when not given cash or gift vouchers.

Research has found that paying people to quit smoking improves their chances of success by half
Getty – Contributor

But this increased to 10.5 per cent if they were promised rewards, ranging from £35 to £912.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia examined 33 previous trials with 21,600 smokers.

They included ten trials with pregnant women, who were encouraged to quit for their baby’s health.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of cot death, preterm birth and development problems.

The NHS and some employers have trialled reward schemes in a bid to reduce smoking rates.


Official figures show 14.4 per cent of adults smoke in England, as do 10.6 per cent of new mums.

Smoking is the leading cause of disease and death worldwide and costs the UK economy £13bn.

Study leader Dr Caitlin Notley, from UEA, said smoking causes “enormous harms”.

She added: “Most smokers want to quit, but stopping smoking can be really challenging.

The findings suggest incentives can be a useful part of a comprehensive approach to help people quit smoking.

“These types of schemes could help save money as well as lives. Stopping smoking during pregnancy is the best thing that women can do to improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

“Staying stopped after the birth has great benefits for babies too, through avoiding exposure to second hand smoke.”

The findings are published in the Cochrane Library, which supports healthcare policy making.


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