Financial commitments in smoking cessation

Hyperbolic Discounting and Public Health
Intervention Public Health

How to get commitment to stop smoking using financial interventions

Intervention Description

Smokers were offered to join a voluntary commitment device called CARES. If they agreed to join, subjects deposited the amount of money they would spend on cigarettes each week into a savings account. They were not allowed to withdraw from this account for six months. If the subject passed a urine test at the end of this period, she was allowed to keep the money. Otherwise, it would be donated to charity. Smokers who were offered CARES were 3% more likely to quit smoking. However, of the smokers who were offered CARES, only 11% agreed to participate. Future interventions should consider how we can increase the amount of smokers who initially agree to participate.