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Clinical management of smoking cessation: Patient factors affecting a reward-based approach

Although the majority of current smokers indicate they would like to quit, only about half of smokers make a quit attempt each year. Of those who attempt to quit, only about 5% are successful. Many effective products and programs are available to assist in smoking cessation; however those interested in quitting often do not make use of these resources. To increase use of cessation products in order to improve successful cessation rates, the Consumer Demand Roundtable has argued that smokers need to be viewed as consumers of cessation products rather than as patients needing treatment. With this consumer-based approach in mind, the current review examines how participant characteristics, perceptions, and behavior influence, and are influenced by, contingency management (CM) paradigms in various settings. Findings suggest that participant factors associated with success in these programs include demographic characteristics (eg, gender, marital status), self-efficacy, motivation to quit, and impulsivity. Overall, participants perceive incentives for successful cessation as motivating. However, such programs may involve greater withdrawal symptoms (eg, craving for cigarettes) initially, but these symptoms tend to decrease at a greater rate over time compared with nonincentive group participants. CM programs have also been shown to be successful across a number of settings (eg, communities, schools), including settings in which smokers are often considered difficult to treat (eg, substance abuse treatment centers). Overall, CM programs are perceived positively by participants and can increase rates of successful cessation. Furthermore, CM interventions have the flexibility to adapt to individual preferences and needs, leading to greater participation and likelihood of successful cessation. Thus, CM provides an important framework for addressing the need for consumer-focused smoking cessation interventions.


Renaud, J., & Halpern, M. (2010). Clinical management of smoking cessation: Patient factors affecting a reward-based approach. Patient Preference and Adherence, 4, 441-450. https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S8913

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