Contingency Management for Smoking Cessation in Adolescent Smokers

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This pilot study evaluated the use of contingency management (CM) procedures in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for smoking cessation in adolescents. Twenty-eight treatment-seeking adolescent smokers participated in a 1-month, school-based smoking cessation program and were randomly assigned to receive either CM with weekly CBT or CBT alone. In the CM + CBT group, biochemical verification of abstinence was obtained twice daily during the first 2 weeks, followed by daily appointments during the 3rd week and once every other day during the 4th week. Participants were monetarily reinforced for abstinence on an escalating magnitude schedule with a reset contingency. At the end of 1 week and 1 month of treatment, abstinence verified using quantitative urine cotinine levels was higher in participants in the CM + CBT group (1 week: 76.7%; 1 month: 53.0%) when compared with the CBT-alone group (1 week: 7.2%; 4 weeks: 0%). These preliminary results provide a strong initial signal supporting the utility of CM techniques for smoking cessation in adolescents and demonstrate the feasibility of implementing such a program in a school setting.

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