Commentary: Providing rewards for smokers who want to quit


Providing rewards for smokers who want to quit

Published: May, 2009

 It's easy to quit smoking. I've done it many times.

This old joke is reality for the almost three-quarters of current smokers who want to quit. Sadly, fewer than 3% of them succeed, because the well-known dangers of smoking turn out to be easy to ignore. Researchers publishing in the Archives of Internal Medicine and The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) have demonstrated that smoking-cessation can be facilitated by providing quick rewards to those who want to quit. In other words, tangible short-term gains seem to be more motivating than ambiguous promises of improved health and fitness at some unspecified future time.

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