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Financial incentives improve rates of sustained smoking cessation in the workplace

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Review of: Halpern SD et al. A pragmatic trial of e-cigarettes, incentives and drugs for smoking cessation. New Engl J Med 2018;378:2302–10.

Key learning points

  • Financial incentives were more effective at achieving sustained smoking cessation than usual care (information and support) or smoking cessation pharmacotherapy with or without e-cigarettes.

  • Individual engagement with smoking cessation is key with higher quit rates in those already seeking to give up.

  • The addition of conventional smoking cessation aids or e-cigarettes to usual care did not result in statistically significant difference in sustained cessation.

A randomised trial has shown that using financial incentives resulted in higher rates of sustained smoking cessation than usual care or free cessation aids alone, especially in those already engaged with quitting.


This US-based pragmatic randomised trial included 6006 smokers employed by 54 companies that were running a wellness programme. Individuals …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Contributors DTB Team.