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Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Nov;15(11):1934-8. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt060. Epub 2013 May 3.

Mobile contingency management as an adjunctive smoking cessation treatment for smokers with posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1Research and Development Service, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC;



Smokers with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) smoke at higher prevalence rates and are more likely to relapse early in a quit attempt. Innovative methods are needed to enhance quit rates, particularly in the early quit period. Web-based contingency-management (CM) approaches have been found helpful in reducing smoking among other difficult-to-treat smoker populations but are limited by the need for computers. This pilot study builds on the web-based CM approach by evaluating a smartphone-based application for CM named mobile CM (mCM).


Following a 2-week training period, 22 smokers with PTSD were randomized to a 4-week mCM condition or a yoked (i.e., noncontingent 4-week mCM condition). All smokers received 2 smoking cessation counseling sessions, nicotine replacement, and bupropion. Participants could earn up to $690 ($530 for mCM, $25.00 for assessments and office visits [up to 5], and $35.00 for equipment return). The average earned was $314.00.


Compliance was high during the 2-week training period (i.e., transmission of videos) (93%) and the 4-week treatment period (92%). Compliance rates did not differ by group assignment. Four-week quit rates (verified with CO) were 82% for the mCM and 45% for the yoked controls. Three-month self-report quit rates were 50% in the mCM and 18% in the yoked controls.


mCM may be a useful adjunctive smoking cessation treatment component for reducing smoking among smokers with PTSD, particularly early in a smoking quit attempt.

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[Available on 2014/11/1]
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