Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Public attitudes to implementing financial incentives in stop-smoking services in Ireland.pdf (128.34 kB)

Public attitudes to implementing financial incentives in stop-smoking services in Ireland

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-10, 11:00 authored by Ellen Cosgrave, Aishling Sheridan, Edward Murphy, Martina Blake, Rikke Siersbaek, Sarah Parker, Sara Burke, Frank DoyleFrank Doyle, Paul KavanaghPaul Kavanagh

Introduction: Financial incentives improve stop-smoking service outcomes. Views on acceptability can influence implementation success. To inform implementation planning in Ireland, public attitudes on financial incentives to stop smoking were measured.

Methods: A cross-sectional telephone survey was administered to 1000 people in Ireland aged ≥15 years in 2022, sampled through random digit dialing. The questionnaire included items on support for financial incentives under different conditions. Prevalence of support was calculated with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) and multiple logistic regression identified associated factors using adjusted odds ratios (AORs) with 95% CIs.

Results: Almost half (47.0%, 95% CI: 43.9-50.1) of the participants supported at least one type of financial incentive to stop smoking, with support more prevalent for shopping vouchers (43.3%, 95% CI: 40.3-46.5) than cash payments (32.1%, 95% CI: 29.2-35.0). Support was similar for universal and income-restricted schemes. Of those who supported financial incentives, the majority (60.6%) believed the maximum amount given on proof of stopping smoking should be under €250 (median=100, range: 1-7000). Compared to their counterparts, those of lower education level (AOR=1.49; 95% CI: 1.10-2.03, p=0.010) and tobacco/e-cigarette users (AOR=1.43; 95% CI: 1.02-2.03, p=0.041) were significantly more likely to support either financial incentive type, as were younger people.

Conclusions: While views on financial incentives to stop smoking in Ireland were mixed, the intervention is more acceptable in groups experiencing the heaviest burden of smoking-related harm and most capacity to benefit. Engagement and communication must be integral to planning for successful implementation to improve stop-smoking service outcomes.


HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Cosgrave E. et al. Public attitudes to implementing financial incentives in stopsmoking services in Ireland. Tob Prev Cessat. 2023;9:09.

Publication Date

3 April 2023

PubMed ID



  • Health Psychology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology


Published by European Publishing on behalf of the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP)


  • Published Version (Version of Record)