Money as motivation to quit: A survey of a non-random Australian sample of socially disadvantaged smokers' views of the acceptability of cash incentives

B. Bonevski, J. Bryant, M. Lynagh, C. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to a) assess acceptability of personal financial incentives to socially disadvantaged smokers and non-smokers; b) examine factors associated with acceptability; and c) examine preferred levels of incentive amounts. Methods: A cross-sectional touch screen computer survey was conducted between February and October 2010 in New South Wales, Australia. Participants were clients experiencing financial or social hardship and receiving emergency welfare aid from a non-government social and community service organisation. Results: Of 383 participants (69% response rate), 46% believed personal financial incentives were an excellent/good idea, 47% believed personal financial incentives did more good than harm and 61% agreed they would motivate smokers to quit. High acceptability ratings were associated with participants being female, current smokers, living in low socioeconomic areas, experiencing smoking-induced deprivation, making a previous quit attempt and intending to quit in the next 6. months. When asked what amount of incentive they felt would be acceptable, 23% selected amounts between $50 and $500AUD and 37% selected amounts over $500AUD. Conclusions: Given high smoking prevalence among socially disadvantaged groups and consequent health disparities, it is imperative novel methods of encouraging smoking cessation are explored and tested. This survey found financial incentives may be an acceptable method. Further research to understand all possible positive and negative effects is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disadvantage
  • Incentives
  • Smoking cessation
  • Survey

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