If you’re a smoker – listen up. If you’re a non-smoker – share this article with all your smoker friends immediately. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine describes a scientifically proven method to quit smoking, and it has seen remarkable success.
Given common knowledge of all the negative effects the habit brings, many people have tried to quit smoking. Some people even manage to quit multiple times.
Despite being one of the leading causes of preventable death, studies show that 90% of smokers who try to quit will start again. If you’ve tried the usual methods such as cold turkey without success – it’s time to try something new. After all, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
According to the Ministry of Health, about 16% of working adults in Singapore smoke. While the proposal of banning smoking for those born after year 2000 haven’t been gaining much traction, it’s time to act to save yourself (and your pocket). With the rising price of cigarettes and increasing restrictions on lighting up, you need no further incentives to stamp out the habit once and for all.
Time to take a gamble… literally
Here’s the method that has yielded promising results so far. While Toto and 4D offer little chances of winning, putting your money on the linewill give you a 52.3% chance of emerging victorious against nicotine.
The scientific study comprised 2,538 participants who received either deposit-based or reward-based incentives. In the first group, each person deposited $150 with the promise of getting that back plus an additional $650 if they successfully abstained from smoking. The second group got an $800 incentive, without having to place a deposit. Both groups received resources such as counselling and nicotine-replacement therapy.
Results? 52.3% in the first group managed to quit, compared with 17.1% in the second group.
The authors of the study wrote: “According to this approach, deposits were superior to rewards even if we assumed that participants who would accept deposits had up to 12.5 times greater underlying propensities to stop smoking than participants who would accept rewards only.”
So there you go – putting your money where your mouth isprovides a huge motivation to fulfil your promise (or rather, hefty deterrent against breaking your promise).
The psychological explanation behind this is that humans are risk-averse and typically more driven to avoid losses instead of seeking gains.
Employers: Take heed
The researchers also have this to say to employers: “Because employing a smoker is estimated to cost $5,816 more each year than employing a non-smoker, even an $800 payment borne entirely by employers and paid only to those who quit would be highly cost-saving.”
How to quit smoking NOW
Hurry up – find a trusted friend, hand over $150 in cash with the commitment to forfeit the money to him or her if you ever light up again. Just don’t find someone who would deliberately tempt you to purchase a pack of Marlboro in order to win the bet.