You can't pay me to quit: The failure of financial incentives for smoking cessation in head and neck cancer patients

A. Ghosh, G. Philiponis, Arnaud Bewley, E. R. Ransom, N. Mirza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: A prospective randomised study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital to evaluate the effects of financial incentives for smoking cessation targeted at a high-risk population. Methods: Patients with a past history of head and neck cancer were voluntarily enrolled over a two-year period. They were randomised to a cash incentives or no incentive group. Subjects were offered enrolment in smoking cessation courses. Smoking by-product levels were assessed at 30 days, 3 months and 6 months. Subjects in the incentive group received $150 if smoking cessation was confirmed. Results: Over 2 years, 114 patients with an established diagnosis of head and neck cancer were offered enrolment. Twenty-four enrolled and 14 attended the smoking cessation classes. Only two successfully quit smoking at six months. Both these patients were in the financially incentivised group and received $150 at each test visit. Conclusion: Providing a financial incentive for smoking cessation to a population already carrying a diagnosis of head and neck cancer in order to promote a positive behaviour change was unsuccessful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
Volume130
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Incentive reimbursement
  • Quality of life
  • Smoking cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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