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Incentives for smoking cessation in a rural pharmacy setting: The Tobacco Free Communities program


Breen, RJ and Frandsen, M and Ferguson, SG, Incentives for smoking cessation in a rural pharmacy setting: The Tobacco Free Communities program, Australian Journal of Rural Health Article online ahead of print. ISSN 1038-5282 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajr.12724


Objective: Investigate the smoking-related outcomes and feasibility of a pharmacy led financial incentive program for smoking cessation.

Design: Multi-site single-arm trial of the Tobacco Free Communities program. Setting: Community pharmacies within the Glamorgan Spring Bay (Site 1) and George Town (Site 2) municipalities of Tasmania.

Participants: Adult smokers. Based on funding, the recruitment target was 76 smokers.

Interventions: Pharmacy staff provided quitting advice through 7 sessions over 3 months. At 6 sessions, abstinent participants (no cigarettes in the previous week and expired carbon monoxide ≤4 ppm) were rewarded with AU$50 vouchers.

Main outcome measures: Smoking-related outcomes were decreased smoking (self-reported cigarettes per day and carbon monoxide levels) and abstinence rates. Feasibility outcomes were meeting the recruitment target, participant retention and participants' views of the program (measured by interview data from Site 2).

Results: Ninety individuals enrolled. Sixty-two participants were included in analyses; remaining participants were excluded from analyses because they did not consent to use of their data within this study or had carbon monoxide ≤4 ppm at enrolment. Smoking (carbon monoxide and cigarettes per day) significantly decreased between enrolment and the first financial incentive session. Twelve participants (19.35%) were abstinent at the end of the program. Yet retention was poor; only 13 participants (20.97%) attended all sessions. Interviews suggested participants found the program beneficial.

Conclusions: Providing financial incentive within rural community pharmacies could be a viable method of encouraging smoking reductions and quit attempts. Additional work is needed to increase retention and compare effects to usual care pharmacy practices.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community pharmacies, contingency management, financial incentives, smoking cessation
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Breen, RJ (Miss Rachel Breen)
UTAS Author:Frandsen, M (Dr Mai Frandsen)
UTAS Author:Ferguson, SG (Professor Stuart Ferguson)
ID Code:144908
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2021-06-21
Last Modified:2021-09-28

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