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Smokers could kick the habit if they're offered financial rewards

Local News // Aug. 17, 2016
Smokers could kick the habit if they're offered financial rewards

Smokers in Switzerland could kick the habit if they are offered financial rewards.

Researchers at the University of Geneva say money works just as well as medication or nicotine patches, especially amongst lower income earners.

The survey, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, tested 800 smokers from the Geneva region who all earned less than CHF50,000 a year.

They were divided into groups who were trying to give up smoking, with one group being offered supermarket vouchers of increasing value the longer they didn't touch a cigarette.

Vouchers started at CHF100 for one week and CHF1,500 for whoever managed to go without for six months.

Biochemical tests were then carried out to make sure they hadn't lit up.

More than half the group who received vouchers stayed cigarette-free for the first three months; in the other group only 12% managed to stay fag free.

After six months, the rates were 45% and 11% respectively and after the financial incentives stopped, most people started smoking again.

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