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Financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy: randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h134 (Published 27 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h134

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The present study findings suggest the effectiveness of incentives in the form of shopping vouchers and cash for cessation of smoking among pregnant women. The number needed to treat is 7.2 and the possible beneficial effect of smoking cessation on the birth weight of the newborns compared with control group is absent. Provision of the incentives seems to be quite high if it is translated into India currency which comes to about Indian rupee 64,000 approximately per pregnant woman. Such an incentive is not acceptable in view of the limited resources. In fact, counseling and provision of free nicotine replacement therapy could be provided depending upon its availability in public hospitals. The need for health hazards associated with smoking and tobacco consumption should be communicated and motivation should be done. Provision of cash and kind incentives may not be the choice in approach for long term cessation of smoking. The study should also find out how many returned back to smoking and after what period of the last smoking episode by further following the cohort. It may than be possible to comment upon the effectiveness of such incentive in the long run.

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 January 2015
Mongjam Meghachandra Singh
Professor,
Reeta Devi
Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi; co-author- Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi; co-author- School of Health Sciences, IGNOU, New Delhi