Small financial incentives increase smoking cessation in homeless smokers: A pilot study

Michael S. Businelle, Darla E. Kendzor, Anshula Kesh, Erica L. Cuate, Insiya B. Poonawalla, Lorraine R. Reitzel, Kolawole S. Okuyemi, David W. Wetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Although over 70% of homeless individuals smoke, few studies have examined the effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions in this vulnerable population. The purpose of this pilot study was to compare the effectiveness of shelter-based smoking cessation clinic usual care (UC) to an adjunctive contingency management (CM) treatment that offered UC plus small financial incentives for smoking abstinence. Sixty-eight homeless individuals in Dallas, Texas (recruited in 2012) were assigned to UC (n= 58) or UC plus financial incentives (CM; n= 10) groups and were followed for 5 consecutive weeks (1. week pre-quit through 4. weeks post-quit). A generalized linear mixed model regression analysis was conducted to compare biochemically-verified abstinence rates between groups. An additional model examined the interaction between time and treatment group. The participants were primarily male (61.8%) and African American (58.8%), and were 49. years of age on average. There was a significant effect of treatment group on abstinence overall, and effects varied over time. Follow-up logistic regression analyses indicated that CM participants were significantly more likely than UC participants to be abstinent on the quit date (50% vs. 19% abstinent) and at 4. weeks post-quit (30% vs. 1.7% abstinent). Offering small financial incentives for smoking abstinence may be an effective way to facilitate smoking cessation in homeless individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-720
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Texas School of Public Health . The data analysis and manuscript preparation were additionally supported through American Cancer Society grants MRSGT-12-114-01-CPPB (to MSB) and MRSGT-10-104-01-CPHPS (to DEK). The funding sources had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.


  • Contingency management
  • Financial incentives
  • Homeless
  • Smoking cessation


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