HPRC Researcher Offers Monetary Incentives to Oklahomans for Quitting Smoking


Published: Monday, March 1, 2021

A TSET Health Promotion Research Center researcher is looking at the longer-term effectiveness of incentive-based smoking cessation for socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers.

Dr. Darla Kendzor, Co-Director of the TSET Health Promotion Research Center, has characterized the influences of socioeconomic disadvantage and race/ethnicity on smoking cessation, including financial stress, neighborhood factors, and racial/ethnic discrimination. Her current research focuses on identifying practical and effective smoking cessation interventions for Oklahomans who are uninsured or accessing Medicaid benefits.

Although the prevalence of smoking has decreased to 14% among U.S. adults, the smoking rates are as high as 25% among those who have Medicaid health insurance coverage or are uninsured. While socioeconomically disadvantaged adults are just as likely to try to quit smoking as individuals of higher socioeconomic status, they are less likely to succeed.

The primary aim of Kendzor's five-year study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is to evaluate the longer-term impact of a low-cost incentives-based intervention on quitting smoking among socioeconomically disadvantaged adults participating in a smoking cessation treatment program. In addition, treatment factors and personal characteristics that influence the likelihood of quitting, such treatment adherence, motivation to quit, and self-efficacy, will be identified via smartphone-based assessments.

According to Kendzor, "Offering monetary incentives for quitting may be an appealing and effective way to help people quit smoking and increase health equity among individuals with fewer resources."

Socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals initiating smoking cessation treatment, are randomly assigned to either standard smoking cessation treatment or standard treatment plus financial incentives for quitting. Those assigned to the incentives intervention may earn small gift cards for verified abstinence over 12 weeks (up to $250 total), and they will be followed for 26 weeks to determine whether they are able to stay quit.

Smartphones are provided to participants in order to assess their experiences while quitting and to provide intervention support.
Findings will provide information about the effectiveness of a practical and inexpensive smoking cessation intervention for the socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers that may be applied in real-world settings. To find more information about the study, call (405) 271-QUIT or visit 271quit.com

This research was primarily supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant R01CA197314 (to D.E. Kendzor). Additional support was provided by Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Grant R21-02, and the Mobile Health Technology Shared Resource, which is a component of the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA225520 awarded to the Stephenson Cancer Center.