The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of financial incentives for
increasing long-term smoking cessation rates among employees at General Electric worksites
throughout the United States.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable mortality in United States, accounting for
approximately 435,000 of the 2.4 million deaths each year in the United States. Most
smokers make multiple attempts to quit smoking, but only 2-3% succeed each year. Smoking
cessation programs have proven effective in helping smokers quit, but only about 5% of
smokers enroll in smoking cessation programs each year.
Financial incentives have been shown to increase enrollment in smoking cessation programs
and short-term quit rates, but have not been well tested as a mechanism for increasing
long-term quit rates. The existing evidence suggests that they could be highly effective,
particularly among heavy smokers and low income smokers. In addition, financial incentives
for smoking cessation will likely be more cost effective than most covered health services
and at least as cost effective as other recommended smoking cessation treatments.
This study is a two-arm randomized clinical trial of financial incentives for smoking
cessation among a sample of 850 male and female smokers from GE Energy worksites throughout
the U.S. Smokers will be randomized to receive either usual care (information about local
community-based smoking cessation resources, coverage of prescription drugs and physician
visits) or usual care plus a package of financial incentives that includes $100 for
completion of a community-based tobacco cessation program, $250 for short-term smoking
cessation at either 3 months or 6 months after randomization, and $400 for smoking cessation
6 months post-quit date (biochemically confirmed).
- Employees of General Electric at work sites in the United States
- Current smokers who report having smoked at least 5 cigarettes per day for the prior
- Age 18 or older
- Current use of other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, pipes, or cigars
- Planning to leave General Electric within the next 18 months