University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 258

Abstract 2000-2008

Higgins ST, Heil SH, Solomon LJ, et al. A pilot study on voucher-based incentives to promote abstinence from cigarette smoking during pregnancy and postpartum. Nicotine Tob Res. Dec 2004;6(6):1015-1020.

We report results from a pilot study examining the use of vouchers redeemable for retail items as incentives for smoking cessation during pregnancy and postpartum. Of 100 study-eligible women who were still smoking upon entering prenatal care, 58 were recruited from university-based and community obstetric practices to participate in a smoking cessation study. Participants were assigned to either contingent or noncontingent voucher conditions. Vouchers were available during pregnancy and for 12 weeks postpartum. In the contingent condition, vouchers were earned for biochemically verified smoking abstinence. In the noncontingent condition, vouchers were earned independent of smoking status. Abstinence monitoring and associated voucher delivery was conducted daily during the initial 5 days of the cessation effort, gradually decreased to every other week antepartum, increased to once weekly during the initial 4 weeks postpartum, and then decreased again to every other week for the remaining 8 weeks of the postpartum intervention period. Contingent vouchers increased 7-day point-prevalence abstinence at the end-of-pregnancy (37% vs. 9%) and 12-week postpartum (33% vs. 0%) assessments. That effect was sustained through the 24-week postpartum assessment (27% vs. 0%), which was 12 weeks after discontinuation of the voucher program. Total mean voucher earnings across antepartum and postpartum were 397 US dollars (SD=414 US dollars) and 313 US dollars (SD=142 dollars) in the contingent and noncontingent conditions, respectively. The magnitude of these treatment effects exceed levels typically observed with pregnant and recently postpartum smokers, and the maintenance of effects through 24 weeks postpartum extends the duration beyond those reported previously.

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