Pilot Study of Contingency Management for Smoking Cessation


King's College London




Opiate Dependence
Opiate Addiction
Smoking, Tobacco
Tobacco Smoking
Smoking Cessation


Behavioral: Contingency Management

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The purpose of this study is to see whether contingency management (CM) can be successfully added as an adjunct treatment to standard stop smoking services in outpatients undergoing treatment for opiate addiction. Forty tobacco smoking patients undergoing treatment for opiate addiction will be stratified to a CM intervention for either smoking abstinence or attendance at the clinic, whilst also receiving usual stop smoking services cessation treatment. The intervention will run for five weeks and participants will be followed up six months after the beginning of the study.

Full description

The study aims to investigate whether a contingency management (CM) intervention can be added to usual NHS stop smoking services (SSS) treatment, in patients undergoing treatment for opiate addiction. The SSS at the treatment centre follows the standard treatment program set out by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) and the NICE guidelines for smoking cessation. Service users taking part in the SSS attend one meeting per week for six weeks. In the first meeting with a cessation worker the client completes baseline information about the client's age, gender, ethnicity, employment, motivation to quit, past quit attempts and current smoking behaviour), and sets a quit date for the following week. For the remaining four weeks clients attend the clinic to receive behavioural support. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available free of charge to all individuals engaged with SSS. During the six weeks of treatment, service users are given a week's supply of NRT at a time. At the end of the six weeks, service users are given a two week supply of NRT before exiting the SSS treatment. NRT use is recorded throughout SSS treatment. Clients' breath carbon monoxide (CO) levels are also measured at the initial visit and at each subsequent visit over the next 5 weeks in order to biochemically verify self-reported abstinence from smoking (CO<10ppm). The CM intervention that this study will run as an adjunct to the SSS,. The 40 participants will be randomised into either experimental (CM for abstinence) or control (CM for attendance) conditions at intake. Randomisation will be stratified based on participants' current smoking frequency (between 10 and 20 per day, and more than 20 per day). The intervention will run for five weeks in total, with randomisation occurring at visit 1, and the intervention beginning in week two of the SSS treatment and ending in week six. Participants will be rewarded for smoking abstinence in the experimental condition, and for attending the SSS clinic in the control condition. For the experimental condition smoking abstinence will be defined as a breath CO reading of <10ppm, and for the control condition attendance will be defined as attending the SSS clinic once a week. Rewards will be administered by a researcher to ensure cessation workers are not aware of group allocation. The intervention will employ an 'escalating with reset' schedule, Reward values will be the same in both conditions. In escalating with reset CM, rewards escalate in a set increment value for each successive verified display of the desired behaviour. When the desired behaviour is not observed, no reward is given, and the reward value for the next verified display of the desired behaviour is reset to that of the initial reward. Reward values then begin to rise again in the same way as before. Six months after their set quit date, participants will be contacted by the PI to ascertain their self-reported smoking status. In order to test the optimal follow up method, participants will be pseudo-randomised to be contacted by text and phone call, or email and phone call. All participants will also be asked to return to the clinic in order to have their breath CO levels tested to verify this. Once this is done, participants will have completed their participation in the study.


40 patients




18 to 65 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Want to quit smoking
  • Between 18 and 65 years old
  • Undergoing current pharmacological treatment for opiate addiction
  • Smoke a minimum of 10 cigarettes per day
  • Provide informed consent.

Exclusion criteria

  • Insufficient English skills to understand study protocols
  • Currently undergoing treatment for drugs other that opiates or tobacco
  • Taking part in other research

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

40 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Contingency Management: smoking
Experimental group
Contingency Management: smoking Participants receive rewards contingent on biochemical verification of tobacco smoking abstinence
Behavioral: Contingency Management
Contingency Management: attendance
Placebo Comparator group
Contingency Management: attendance Participants receive rewards contingent on attending the stop smoking clinic (independent of smoking status)
Behavioral: Contingency Management

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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