Prize Reinforcement for Smoking Cessation

16:03 EDT 30th March 2015 | BioPortfolio


Nicotine dependence is prevalent in society, cigarette smoking is associated with several known health risks, and most dependent individuals find it very difficult to stop smoking cigarettes. The present study will test the efficacy of a behavioral smoking cessation treatment, prize-based contingency management, that has not undergone rigorous study with respect to smoking, it but has demonstrated efficacy in reducing use of other substances (e.g. cocaine). If efficacious, prize-based contingency management would add to our repertoire of efficacious smoking cessation treatments.


Contingency management (CM) treatments are efficacious in reducing substance use. A relatively new approach, called prize-based CM, which uses prizes to reinforce substance abstinence, is effective in decreasing certain types of substance use, but its efficacy has not been evaluated in the treatment of cigarette smoking. One purpose of the current study is to assess the efficacy of a prize reinforcement intervention for reducing cigarette smoking. A second purpose is to test the differential efficacy of two schedules of reinforcement, using cigarette smoking as an exemplar. We will randomly assign 110 patients to one of three conditions: 1) Standard treatment; 2) Traditional prize reinforcement; or 3) Early-treatment enhanced prize reinforcement. Patients in each condition will receive counseling for their smoking based on current standard of care guidelines. All patients will participate in a one-week baseline period, followed by a four-week intervention. Throughout both phases, each patient will meet with a research assistant twice daily to provide carbon monoxide (CO) samples. Patients in the prize reinforcement conditions will earn the chance to win prizes when they provide negative CO samples (i.e., < 6ppm). They will also earn bonus draws if they provide negative cotinine samples (i.e., <100ng/ml) after weekends. Patients in the Traditional CM condition will have at least a 50% chance of winning a prize for each negative sample with escalating chances for successive negative samples. Patients in the Enhanced condition will have the opportunity to earn the same overall number of draws and magnitude of reinforcement, but the schedule of reinforcement will differ. For the first week of the CM phase, these patients will have a 100% chance of winning prizes, but in the latter 3 weeks, overall probability of reinforcement will be decreased to 34%. Patients will also undergo 2- and 6-month follow-up assessments. Primary outcome measures will be longest duration of continuous abstinence and mean number of days of abstinence. We predict that the prize reinforcement will reduce cigarette smoking to a greater extent than standard treatment. We also predict that the Enhanced CM condition will lead to greater reductions in cigarette smoking relative to the Traditional CM condition, and that these changes may result in longer sustained abstinence from smoking throughout the study period.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Nicotine Dependence


Standard Treatment, Traditional Contingency Management, Early Enhanced Contingency Management


Wayne State University, Jefferson Avenue Research Clinic
United States




National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Coverage by contract whereby one part indemnifies or guarantees another against loss by a specified contingency.

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First aid or other immediate intervention for accidents or medical conditions requiring immediate care and treatment before definitive medical and surgical management can be procured.

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