You’ll Never Believe The Incredible New Way To Fight Back Against Smoking
A new report concludes that smokers who are offered a financial incentive are much more likely to quit smoking for good.
Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world, killing around 8 million people each year. Despite years of robust evidence against cigarettes, we’re still in need of new and useful tools to get people off cigarettes once and for all.
Some countries have made things worse for themselves by implementing misguided anti-smoking and vaping regulations. The UK, however, is proving once again they’re the world leader in effective smoking cessation programs, as a recent report concluded cash incentives dramatically increase the chances of quitting.
While many are excited by the new research, and what it could mean for public health, others believe this is a terrible decision which will ultimately create an unsustainable situation. Regardless, the report’s authors are showing off their results as a significant discovery for the anti-tobacco movement.
While little was said about the impact of vaping, the community is celebrating the report for putting smoking back at the forefront. Many health experts in the UK are optimistic this type of program could be another huge step in ending tobacco for good.
The New Report
The report was conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia, and analyzed over 30 different trials on money based quit incentives. These reports covered a wide range of demographics, with the over 21,000 respondents coming from eight different countries. The team even took a look at critically important demographics, such as pregnant women.
After going over all the data, the team concluded smokers are on average 50% more likely to quit when receiving some form of financial reward. Interestingly, the size of this reward didn’t seem to matter much, with cash payments of various sizes, vouchers, or even deposits paid by the participants all having a sufficient effect.
The lead researcher, Dr. Caitlin Notley, believes implementing programs like these could save the UK government a ton of money, as the cost would be much lower than what’s already spent on smoking-related diseases every year. In fact, reports indicate smoking costs the UK around 13 billion pounds a year.
Researchers believe these incentive programs are particularly effective for people still in the early stages of quitting, as they tend to be the most difficult. According to Dr. Notley, “once people have made that health behaviour change and the incentives are removed, they’re more likely to stay abstinent from smoking in the longer term.”
A Much Safer Alternative
While this new report provides another critical way to help people quit smoking, the researchers were sure to note that these programs weren’t practical for everyone. As such, some experts believe a combination of aides is the best method for a successful quit attempt, and nothing is quite as effective as e-cigarettes.
In fact, a report out of the University of Louisville concluded that not only is vaping an effective smoking cessation tool, but it may actually be the single most likely to lead to a successful quit attempt. The researchers tested all the most common methods, ranging from cold turkey through prescription drugs, but it was none other than e-cigarettes at the top of the list.
Other reports have made it clear vaping is a much safer alternative to continued smoking. Going back to 2015, we have reports from Public Health England which conclude vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. More recently we’ve gotten studies out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute which found the toxicants in vapor are 93% higher than in cigarette smoke.
However, nothing proves the harm reduction value of vaping, quite like the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences. That study found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
Developing new and effective ways to help people off cigarettes is one of the most important things we can do for public health. This new incentive program has the potential to save billions of dollars while simultaneously saving millions of lives.
If we don’t support this type of program now, it will be much easier for the naysayers to destroy them before they get a chance to prove their worth. Smoking is an incredibly important topic that requires a game-changing idea to stop once and for all.
The best thing we can do to help this program see the light of day in America is to spread the positive information from these studies to the smokers and vapers in your life. The more people who understand what’s at stake, the easier it will be to win the fight!
What are your thoughts on this new type of smoking cessation program? How can we best support this type of program and vaping at the same time? Do you think it will make a big difference in the overall smoking rates? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.