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"This study provides substantial evidence of a very promising and potentially cost-effective new intervention to add to present health service support," the researchers wrote.
Overall, 23 percent of the women in the financial incentive group quit smoking, compared with 9 percent of those in the control group, according to the study published Jan. 27 in the journal BMJ.
Twelve months later, 15 percent of the women in the financial incentive group remained smoke-free, compared with 4 percent of those in the control group.
Financial incentives may also be a way to get parents to bring their children in for recommended vaccinations, the study authors suggested.
The findings can serve as the basis for future research to include other health care systems, they added.
-- Robert Preidt
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