Financial Incentives for Smoking Abstinence in Homeless Smokers: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
ABSTRACT: Introduction:Three-quarters of homeless people smoke cigarettes. Financial incentives for smoking abstinence have appeared promising in nonexperimental studies of homeless smokers, but randomized controlled trial (RCT) data are lacking. Methods:We conducted a pilot RCT of financial incentives for homeless smokers. Incentive arm participants (N = 25) could earn escalating $15-$35 rewards for brief smoking abstinence (exhaled carbon monoxide <8 parts per million) assessed 14 times over 8 weeks. Control arm participants (N = 25) were given $10 at each assessment regardless of abstinence. All participants were offered nicotine patches and counseling. The primary outcome was a repeated measure of brief smoking abstinence across 14 assessments. The secondary outcome was brief abstinence at 8 weeks. Exploratory outcomes were self-reported 1-day and 7-day abstinence from (1) any cigarette and (2) any puff of a cigarette. Other outcomes included 24-hour quit attempts, nicotine patch use, counseling attendance, and changes in alcohol and drug use. Results:Compared to control, incentive arm participants were more likely to achieve brief abstinence overall (odds ratio 7.28, 95% confidence interval 2.89 to 18.3) and at 8 weeks (48% vs. 8%, p = .004). Similar effects were seen for 1-day abstinence, but 7-day puff abstinence was negligible in both arms. Incentive arm participants made more quit attempts (p = .03). Nicotine patch use and counseling attendance were not significantly different between the groups. Alcohol and drug use did not change significantly in either group. Conclusions:Among homeless smokers, financial incentives increased brief smoking abstinence and quit attempts without worsening substance use. This approach merits further development focused on promoting sustained abstinence. Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02565381). Implications:Smoking is common among homeless people, and conventional tobacco treatment strategies have yielded modest results in this population. This pilot RCT suggests that financial incentives may be a safe way to promote brief smoking abstinence and quit attempts in this vulnerable group of smokers. However, further development is necessary to translate this approach into real-world settings and to promote sustained periods of smoking abstinence.
Project description:A substantial amount of research has been conducted on financial incentives to increase abstinence from smoking among pregnant smokers. If demonstrated to be effective, financial incentives could be proposed as part of health care interventions to help pregnant smokers quit. Public acceptability is important; as such interventions could be publicly funded. Concerns remain about the acceptability of these interventions in the general population. We aimed to assess the acceptability of financial incentives to reward pregnant smokers who stop smoking using a survey conducted in the UK and then subsequently in France, two developed countries with different cultural and social backgrounds. More French than British respondents agreed with financial incentives for rewarding quitting smoking during pregnancy, not smoking after delivery, keeping a smoke-free household, health service payment for meeting target and the maximum amount of the reward. However, fully adjusted models showed significant differences only for the two latter items. More British than French respondents were neutral toward financial incentives. Differences between the representative samples of French and British individuals demonstrate that implementation of financial incentive policies may not be transferable from one country to another.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Three-quarters of homeless people smoke cigarettes. Competing priorities for shelter, food, and other subsistence needs may be one explanation for low smoking cessation rates in this population. We analyzed data from two samples of homeless smokers to examine the associations between subsistence difficulties and 1) smoking cessation readiness, confidence, and barriers in a cross-sectional study, and 2) smoking abstinence during follow-up in a longitudinal study. METHODS:We conducted a survey of homeless smokers (N = 306) in 4/2014-7/2014 and a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) for homeless smokers (N = 75) in 10/2015-6/2016 at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. In both studies, subsistence difficulties were characterized as none, low, or high based on responses to a 5-item scale assessing the frequency of past-month difficulty finding shelter, food, clothing, a place to wash, and a place to go to the bathroom. Among survey participants, we used linear regression to assess the associations between subsistence difficulty level and readiness to quit, confidence to quit, and a composite measure of perceived barriers to quitting. Among RCT participants, we used repeated-measures logistic regression to examine the association between baseline subsistence difficulty level and carbon monoxide-defined brief smoking abstinence assessed 14 times over 8 weeks of follow-up. Analyses adjusted for demographic characteristics, substance use, mental illness, and nicotine dependence. RESULTS:Subsistence difficulties were common in both study samples. Among survey participants, greater subsistence difficulties were associated with more perceived barriers to quitting (p < 0.001) but not with cessation readiness or confidence. A dose-response relationship was observed for most barriers, particularly psychosocial barriers. Among RCT participants, greater baseline subsistence difficulties predicted less smoking abstinence during follow-up in a dose-response fashion. In adjusted analyses, individuals with the highest level of subsistence difficulty had one-third the odds of being abstinent during follow-up compared to those without subsistence difficulties (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.11-0.93) despite making a similar number of quit attempts. CONCLUSIONS:Homeless smokers with greater subsistence difficulties perceive more barriers to quitting and are less likely to do so despite similar readiness, confidence, and attempts. Future studies should assess whether addressing subsistence difficulties improves cessation outcomes in this population. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02565381 .
Project description:Targeting different smoking cessation programs to smokers most likely to quit when using them could reduce the burden of lung disease.To identify smokers most likely to quit using pure reward-based financial incentives or incentive programs requiring refundable deposits to become eligible for rewards.We conducted prespecified secondary analyses of a randomized trial in which 2,538 smokers were assigned to an $800 reward contingent on sustained abstinence from smoking, a refundable $150 deposit plus a $650 reward, or usual care.Using logistic regression, we identified characteristics of smokers that were most strongly associated with accepting their assigned intervention and ceasing smoking for 6 months. We assessed modification of the acceptance, efficacy, and effectiveness of reward and deposit programs by 11 prospectively selected demographic, smoking-related, and psychological factors. Predictors of sustained smoking abstinence differed among participants assigned to reward- versus deposit-based incentives. However, greater readiness to quit and less steep discounting of future rewards were consistently among the most important predictors. Deposit-based programs were uniquely effective relative to usual care among men, higher-income participants, and participants who more commonly failed to pay their bills (all interaction P values?<?0.10). Relative to rewards, deposits were more effective among black persons (P?=?0.022) and those who more commonly failed to pay their bills (P?=?0.082). Relative to rewards, deposits were more commonly accepted by higher-income participants, men, white persons, and those who less commonly failed to pay their bills (all P?<?0.05).Heterogeneity among smokers in their acceptance and response to different forms of incentives suggests potential benefits of targeting behavior-change interventions based on patient characteristics. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 01526265).
Project description:Tobacco-attributable deaths contribute significantly to the increased mortality observed among homeless adults aged 50 years or more. Little is known about the epidemiology of tobacco use among older homeless individuals. This longitudinal cohort study examines smoking behaviors and factors associated with smoking cessation among homeless individuals aged 50 years or more.We recruited a prospective cohort of 350 homeless individuals sampled from the community in Oakland, California. At 6 months follow-up, participants reported their cigarette quit attempts and 30-day abstinence. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine factors associated with making a quit attempt at follow-up, hypothesizing that heavier smokers would be less likely to make a quit attempt.Of the 272 ever-smokers, 229 (84.2%) were current smokers (quit ratio 15.8). Among current smokers at enrollment who had a follow-up interview at 6 months, 43.6% (n = 71) reported making a quit attempt during the follow-up. Of those who reported making a quit attempt, 14.3% (n = 10) reported 30-day abstinence at follow-up. Among those who had reported making a quit attempt at follow-up, 22.5% had used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Staying in shelters (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0-5.8) was associated with higher odds of making a quit attempt at follow-up. Higher cigarette consumption was associated with lower odds of making a quit attempt (AOR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.8-0.9).In this study of tobacco use in older homeless adults, rates of quit attempts were similar to that observed in the general population, but successful quitting was lower.The current study is among the first studies to focus specifically on tobacco use and cessation behaviors among older homeless adults. The high prevalence of smoking and the low rates of successful quitting highlight numerous opportunities to intervene to increase quitting rates among this population. Among these, increasing access to smoke-free living environments and identifying effective cessation therapies will be critical to reducing tobacco-related disease burden among older homeless adults.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Smoking cessation programmes in combination with financial incentives have shown to increase quit rates in smokers, but it is not clear which elements of this intervention help smokers to succeed in their quit attempt. The aim of this study was to explore the view of successful and unsuccessful quitters about which factors had affected their ability to quit smoking.<h4>Design</h4>Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted and analysed using the Framework method.<h4>Setting</h4>Interviews were conducted in 2017 with employees from nine different Dutch companies.<h4>Participants</h4>24 successful and unsuccessful quitters from the intervention group of a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) who participated in a workplace smoking cessation group training programme in which smoking abstinence was rewarded with financial incentives.<h4>Results</h4>Themes that emerged were the workplace setting, quitting with colleagues, motivation, family support, strategies and the financial incentives. The interviewees reported that the smoking cessation programme was appreciated in general, was convenient, lowered the threshold to sign up, stimulated peer support and competition and provided strategies to resist smoking. Personal motivation and a mind set to never smoke again were regarded as important factors for quit success. The financial incentives were not considered as a main motivator to quit smoking, which contradicts the results from the RCT. The financial incentives were considered as more attractive to smokers with a low income.<h4>Conclusions</h4>According to participants, contributors to quitting smoking were the workplace cessation programme, personal motivation and peer support, but not the incentives. More research is needed on the contradiction between the perceived effects of financial incentives on quit success and the actual difference in quit rates.<h4>Trial registration number</h4>NTR5657.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Individuals' perceptions of the importance of earning financial incentives for smoking cessation may influence the effectiveness of contingency management interventions. This study prospectively explored the perceived importance of earning financial incentives for smoking cessation and its association with smoking cessation within a contingency management intervention among socioeconomically disadvantaged adults. METHODS:This study is a secondary analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial that recruited socioeconomically disadvantaged adults from a safety-net hospital in Dallas County, Texas, from 2011 to 2013. Participants, who were randomly assigned to receive small financial incentives for smoking abstinence (N?=?75), rated the importance of earning abstinence-contingent financial incentives one day after their scheduled quit day and one-week post-quit day. Self-reported smoking abstinence was biochemically confirmed weekly through the fourth week post-quit day and at the twelfth week post-quit day. Participants were considered continuously abstinent if self-reported abstinence since the quit date was biochemically confirmed. RESULTS:Greater perceived importance of earning abstinence contingent incentives for smoking cessation was associated with a higher likelihood of achieving continuous abstinence during the four-week intervention period (OR?=?3.95 [95% CI?=?1.64, 9.53]) and through 12?weeks post-quit day (OR?=?4.71 [95% CI?=?1.56, 14.26]). CONCLUSIONS:Findings suggest that the perceived importance of earning abstinence-contingent incentives early in a quit attempt predicts smoking cessation among socioeconomically disadvantaged adults and may indicate whether an individual will be responsive to the magnitude of incentives offered.
Project description:Low-income populations are especially likely to smoke and have difficulty quitting. This study evaluated a monetary incentive intended to increase smoking treatment engagement and abstinence among Medicaid recipients who smoke.Two-group randomized clinical trial of Incentive (n=948) and Control interventions (n=952) for smoking.Medicaid recipients recruited from primary care patients (n=920) and callers to the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line (n=980).Participants were offered five quitline cessation calls and were encouraged to obtain cessation medication (covered by Medicaid). All participants received payment for completing a baseline assessment and a 6-month smoking test. Only Incentive condition participants received compensation for taking counseling calls ($30 per call) and for biochemically verified abstinence at the 6-month visit ($40).Seven-day point-prevalence smoking abstinence 6-months post study entry and cost/quit.Incentive condition participants had significantly higher biochemically determined 7-day point-prevalence smoking abstinence rates 6 months after study induction than did Controls (21.6% vs 13.8%, respectively, p<0.0001). A positive treatment effect of incentives was present across other abstinence indices, but the size of effects and levels of abstinence varied considerably across indices. Incentive condition participants were also significantly more likely than non-incentivized Control participants to accept Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line treatment calls and their acceptance of calls mediated their attainment of higher abstinence rates at 6-month follow-up. The cost/quit/participant averaged $4,268.26 for the Control participants and $3,601.37 for the Incentive participants.This study shows that fairly moderate levels of incentive payments for treatment engagement and abstinence (a total possible payment of $190) increased very low-income smokers' engagement and success in smoking cessation treatment.This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02713594.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Financial incentives effectively increase smoking cessation rates, but it is unclear via which psychological mechanisms incentives influence quit behavior. The current study examines how receiving financial incentives for smoking cessation leads to quitting smoking and investigates several mediators and moderators of that relationship.<h4>Aims and methods</h4>The study sample consisted of 604 tobacco-smoking employees from 61 companies in the Netherlands who completed a baseline and follow-up questionnaire. The current study is a secondary analysis from a cluster randomized trial where employees received smoking cessation group counseling at the workplace. Participants in the intervention group additionally received financial incentives of €350 in total for 12-month continuous smoking abstinence. We used a two-level path analysis to test a model that assesses the effects of financial incentives through smoking cessation program evaluation, medication use, nicotine replacement use, attitudes, self-efficacy, and social influences on quit success. We additionally tested whether an individual's reward responsiveness moderated the influence of incentives on quit success.<h4>Results</h4>The effect of financial incentives on quit success was mediated by a higher self-efficacy. Financial incentives were also associated with a higher use of cessation medication. A more positive program evaluation was related to higher self-efficacy, more social influence to quit, and more positive attitudes about quitting. The results did not differ significantly by individual reward responsiveness.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of the current study suggest that financial incentives may be used to increase medication use and self-efficacy for quitting smoking, which offers an indirect way to increase successful smoking cessation.<h4>Implications</h4>(1) This is the first study investigating via which psychological pathways financial incentives for quitting smoking can lead to long-term quit success. (2) The results showed a path between financial incentives and a higher likelihood of medication use. Incentives may encourage smokers to use medication in order to increase their chance of quitting smoking and receive the reward. (3) There was a path from financial incentives to quit success via a higher self-efficacy. (4) The effects of financial incentives did not depend on individual reward responsiveness.
Project description:This study provides a prospective fine-grain description of the incidence and pattern of intentions to quit, quit attempts, abstinence, and reduction in order to address several clinical questions about self-quitting.A total of 152 smokers who planned to quit in the next 3 months called nightly for 12 weeks to an Interactive Voice Response system to report cigarettes/day, quit attempts, intentions to smoke or not in the next day, and so forth. No treatment was provided.Most smokers (60%) made multiple transitions among smoking, reduction, and abstinence. Intention to not smoke or quit often did not result in a quit attempt but were still strong predictors of a quit attempt and eventual abstinence. Most quit attempts (79%) lasted less than 1 day; about one fifth (18%) of the participants were abstinent at 12 weeks. The majority of quit attempts (72%) were not preceded by an intention to quit. Such quit attempts were shorter than quit attempts preceded by an intention to quit (<1 day vs. 25 days). Most smokers (67%) used a treatment, and use of a treatment was nonsignificantly associated with greater abstinence (14 days vs. 3 days). Making a quit attempt and failing early predicted an increased probability of a later quit attempt compared to not making a quit attempt early (86% vs. 67%). Smokers often (17%) failed to report brief quit attempts on an end-of-study survey.Cessation is a more chronic, complex, and dynamic process than many theories or treatments assume.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To test the effectiveness of financial incentives for smoking cessation in the Medicaid population. DATA SOURCES:Secondary data from the Medicaid Incentives for Prevention of Chronic Disease (MIPCD) program and Medicaid claims/encounter data from 2010 to 2015 for five states. STUDY DESIGN:Beneficiaries were randomized into receipt or no receipt of financial incentives. We ran multivariate regression models testing the impact of financial incentives on the use of counseling services, smoking behavior, and Medicaid expenditures and utilization. DATA EXTRACTION:Participating states provided Medicaid eligibility, claims and encounters, program enrollment, and incentivized service use data. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Participants who received incentives were more likely to call the Quitline and complete counseling sessions. Incentive receipt was positively associated with self-reported quit attempts, self-reported quits, or passing cotinine tests of smoking cessation in most programs, although results were only statistically significant in a subset. There was no systematic evidence that incentives affected health care use or spending. CONCLUSIONS:Financial incentives are a promising policy lever to motivate behavioral change in the Medicaid population, but more evidence is needed regarding optimal incentive size, effectiveness of process-versus outcome-based incentives, targeting of incentives, and long-run cost-effectiveness.