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Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation

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Abstract:

We designed and tested a voluntary commitment product to help smokers quit smoking. The product (CARES) offered smokers a savings account in which they deposit funds for six months, after which they take a urine test for nicotine and cotinine. If they pass, their money is returned; otherwise, their money is forfeited to charity. Of smokers offered CARES, 11 percent took up, and smokers randomly offered CARES were 3 percentage points more likely to pass the 6-month test than the control group. More importantly, this effect persisted in surprise tests at 12 months, indicating that CARES produced lasting smoking cessation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/app.2.4.213

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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aea/aejae/2010/00000002/00000004/art00009
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