Mother and Baby

Pregnant smokers more likely to quit if given shopping vouchers

Would you be more likely to quit smoking if you were offered a financial reward?

A recent study published by the British Medical Journal concluded that offering pregnant smokers up to £400 in shopping vouchers could be a successful way to get them to quit smoking. 

Such a financial reward was “potentially cost-effective” compared with an estimated annual cost to the NHS of £64m for treating smoking-related problems in mothers. 

The study compared those pregnant smokers who were offered the vouchers with a group encouraged to accept NHS advice about quitting. The results showed that 23% of the group offered vouchers stopped smoking, compared to just 9% of the group offered just advice. 

There are ethical questions over offering financial rewards for behavioural changes. However, the study says: “Financial incentives can contribute to household income in advance of the arrival of a baby in low-income households.” 

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  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited before moving on to write about family cars for - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

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