Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation

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University of Pennsylvania




Tobacco Use Disorder


Behavioral: Financial incentives

Study type


Funder types

Other U.S. Federal agency


1R01DP000100-03 (U.S. NIH Grant/Contract)

Details and patient eligibility


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.

Full description

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).




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • 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 12 months
  • Age 18 or older

Exclusion criteria

  • Current use of other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, pipes, or cigars
  • Planning to leave General Electric within the next 18 months

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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