Pregnant smokers offered £400 vouchers to stop smoking

A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked into whether woman during pregnancy who smoke would be more likely to quit if there was a cash incentive.

A group of 612 women who took part were split into 2 groups. One half were offered a regular NHS service to help them stop smoking, whilst the other half were offered £400 in shopping vouchers if they managed to quit.

During a face-to-face appointment, the second group of women were set a goal by which date they must have quit smoking. They were each given an initial £50 voucher, followed by further £50 and £100 vouchers throughout a 38-week period. If by the end they had managed to quit smoking completely, they were awarded a final £200 voucher. Of course, the self-acclaimed quitters were tested by a nurse and only rewarded once the results were medically proven true.

More than 20% of the women that were offered vouchers stopped smoking, compared with 9% who were only given normal NHS support.

One of the lead authors, Prof David Tappin, said: "Many of these mothers have inadequate housing, difficult relationships, low self-esteem and only enough income to subsist.

The money, albeit in the form of vouchers, often lifts the pressure.

This evidence shows that the money is the hand they need to pull them out of their addiction.

Women liked the four payments, particularly the last of £200 which allowed them to buy clothes for their coming baby and larger items like a pram."

The shopping vouchers could be used in high street stores such as Iceland, Argos and Mothercare.

Read more on the BBC 

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand, the government has committed to a goal of NZ becoming completely smoke-free by 2025! Read more.

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