Paying smokers to quit smoking, an amazing solution from Switzerland

If many solutions are offered to cigarette fans to give up the latter, their effectiveness remains to be proven as it is complicated to deprive yourself of this most tenacious habit. In Switzerland, it seems that an unexpected method offers good results.

Patches, nicotine gums, acupuncture, yoga or even hypnosis, the alternatives to quit smoking cigarettes are numerous, and prove to be more or less effective depending on the profile of the smoker. But according to a recent Swiss study, the most effective solution would be… money. The findings of researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, show that paying a financial reward to smokers wishing to quit smoking would be twice as effective as other methods. They publish their results in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

For this study, 805 smokers volunteered, who received financial compensation for each week of withdrawal, with a simple principle: the longer the smoker stopped smoking, the more money he received. Smokers thus received 100 Swiss francs (about 92 euros) after one week. After six months, this amount rose to 1,500 Swiss francs (1,400 euros). The participants were subjected to saliva and sometimes biochemical tests to avoid any cheating.

After six months of experience, the lure of profit has apparently borne fruit, since 45% of the volunteers have managed to do without tobacco. But after the bonuses ended, the rate dropped. Indeed, only 20% of them did not take up cigarettes once the experiment, and therefore the remuneration, was over. But this figure of 20% is still relatively good since, in parallel, another experiment led other guinea pigs to try to quit smoking without being paid, with a success rate, after one year, of only 10 %.

It should be noted that in France, a similar experiment has been carried out since April by the National Cancer Institute on pregnant women, for a period of 36 months, offering vouchers to pregnant women agreeing to give up cigarettes during their pregnancy.


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