Sunday, May 09, 2010

Quit Smoking, Save Money

Innovations for Poverty-Action released a study that was conducted in rural Philippines in an attempt to lift people out of poverty and add years onto people's lives.

Using monetary incentives for people to quit smoking the Committed Action to Reduce and End Smoking (CARES) program motivates people to deposit a percentage of the money they normally spend on cigarettes into a bank account for 6 months.

After 6 months and a urine test to confirm that smoking has indeed stopped, participants gain access to this account that has been receiving increasing deposits for the past half-year. If they do not pass, the account is closed and money is donated to a charity. Smokers were 39% more likely to have passed the 6 month test than the control group, while random one-year tests showed prolonged cessation.

Not only does this study promote good health in areas that can ill afford to partake in risky health behaviors but also encourages and teaches the value of savings.

-Nick Mohazzabfar

Source: Innovations to Poverty-Action