University of Tasmania

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Incentives for smoking cessation in a rural pharmacy setting: The Tobacco Free Communities program

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 00:02 authored by Rachel BreenRachel Breen, Mai FrandsenMai Frandsen, Stuart FergusonStuart Ferguson

Objective: Investigate the smoking-related outcomes and feasibility of a pharmacy led financial incentive program for smoking cessation.

Design: Multi-site single-arm trial of the Tobacco Free Communities program. Setting: Community pharmacies within the Glamorgan Spring Bay (Site 1) and George Town (Site 2) municipalities of Tasmania.

Participants: Adult smokers. Based on funding, the recruitment target was 76 smokers.

Interventions: Pharmacy staff provided quitting advice through 7 sessions over 3 months. At 6 sessions, abstinent participants (no cigarettes in the previous week and expired carbon monoxide ≤4 ppm) were rewarded with AU$50 vouchers.

Main outcome measures: Smoking-related outcomes were decreased smoking (self-reported cigarettes per day and carbon monoxide levels) and abstinence rates. Feasibility outcomes were meeting the recruitment target, participant retention and participants' views of the program (measured by interview data from Site 2).

Results: Ninety individuals enrolled. Sixty-two participants were included in analyses; remaining participants were excluded from analyses because they did not consent to use of their data within this study or had carbon monoxide ≤4 ppm at enrolment. Smoking (carbon monoxide and cigarettes per day) significantly decreased between enrolment and the first financial incentive session. Twelve participants (19.35%) were abstinent at the end of the program. Yet retention was poor; only 13 participants (20.97%) attended all sessions. Interviews suggested participants found the program beneficial.

Conclusions: Providing financial incentive within rural community pharmacies could be a viable method of encouraging smoking reductions and quit attempts. Additional work is needed to increase retention and compare effects to usual care pharmacy practices.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Rural Health

Article number

online ahead of print


online ahead of print






School of Psychological Sciences


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2021 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Preventive medicine

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