Some workplaces offer employees $10 for every month they're able to kick their smoking habits; others give people lottery tickets every day they don't take a drag. But rewards and contests designed to help smokers quit aren't effective in the long term, according to a review by the Cochrane Collection, which analyzes medical research. None of the 17 studies analyzed was able to see higher long-term cessation rates from rewarded would-be quitters than from a control group. Quitters were able to abstain from smoking at a higher rate for a short period after participating in some of the contests. But researchers concluded that any positive effects inspired by the contests faded away shortly after the incentives ended.
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