Public Attitudes to Implementing Financial Incentives in Stop Smoking Services in Ireland
More details
Hide details
HSE Tobacco-Free Ireland Programme, Strategy and Research, Health Service Executive, Dublin, Ireland
Centre for Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Department of Health Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Population Health, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Ellen Cosgrave   

HSE Tobacco-Free Ireland Programme, Strategy and Research, Health Service Executive, Dublin, Ireland
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A15
Financial incentives improve stop smoking service outcomes.1 Views on acceptability influence implementation success.2 To inform implementation planning in Ireland, public attitudes to financial incentives in stop smoking services were measured.

Material and Methods:
A cross-sectional telephone survey was administered to a random digit dialled sample of 1000 members of the Irish general public aged 15 years and older. The questionnaire included items on support for financial incentives under different conditions. Prevalence of support was calculated with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) and multiple logistic regression determined factors associated with key responses using Adjusted Odds Ratios (aORs, with 95% CIs).

Almost half (47.0%, 95% CI 43.9%-50.1%) supported at least one type of financial incentive to stop smoking, with support more prevalent for shopping vouchers (43.3%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 40.3%-46.5%) than cash payments (32.1%, 95% CI 29.2%-35.0%). Support was similar for universal and income-restricted schemes. Of those who supported incentives, the majority (60.6%), believed the maximum amount given to people who prove they have stopped smoking should be under €250 (N=385, median=€100, range=€1-€7000). Versus comparative counterparts, those of lower educational attainment (aOR 1.49 95% CI 1.10-2.03, p=0.010) and tobacco/e-cigarette users (aOR 1.43 95% CI 1.02-2.03, p=0.041) were significantly more likely to support either type of incentive, as were younger respondents.

Public engagement will be integral to planning for successful implementation of financial incentives for smoking cessation to improve stop smoking service outcomes. Although findings suggest mixed support for financial incentives for smoking cessation among the general population, robust evidence supporting their effectiveness and higher support identified among lower socioeconomic groups and tobacco-users should be leveraged to advance implementation.

This study has been submitted for peer reviewed publication to Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, however the outcome of this submission is yet unknown.

No authors have any conflict of interest to declare
Notley C, Gentry S, Livingstone-Banks J, Bauld L, Perera R, Hartmann-Boyce J. Incentives for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;7(7):CD004307. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004307.pub6
Hoskins K, Ulrich CM, Shinnick J, Buttenheim AM. Acceptability of financial incentives for health-related behavior change: An updated systematic review. Prev Med. 2019;126:105762. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105762
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top