Call to pay quitters

| October 3, 2017

Australia is being urged to invest in providing financial incentives for people to quit tobacco smoking.

Despite some of the strictest tobacco control policies in the world, recent data shows the decline in smoking in Australia has stalled, according to a story on theconversation.com.

“First-line” quitting strategies available in Australia, such as nicotine patches, are said to provide a success rate of about seven percent, or a failure rate of about 93 percent.

Such a success rate, the story said, would not allow Australia to achieve its nine percent smoking-rate target by 2020, given that the rate stands at about 14 percent now.

‘With current approaches and policies adopted in Australia having arguably lost their edge, and with more controversial approaches such as e-cigarettes caught up in political quicksand, let’s invest in the strategies that do work,’ the story said.

‘One evidence-based approach that has not received much attention in Australia is using financial incentives. Incentives programs reward quitters for not smoking by giving them a monetary voucher.

‘The quitter’s abstinence is verified using biochemical tests of either their saliva, urine or breath.’

The story said that financial incentive programs comprised one of the most effective and cost-effective strategies for getting people to quit.

‘They are considered the most effective strategy for pregnant smokers,’ it said.

‘They are also cost effective, with the calculated net benefit (after taking into account … the incentives used) being around A$4,300 per smoker, per attempt to quit.

‘There have been a number of studies showing their benefits.’

The full story is at: https://theconversation.com/why-we-should-pay-people-to-stop-smoking-84058.

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Category: Breaking News, Financial, Harm reduction

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