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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2005 May;13(2):102-10.

Effectiveness of payment for reduced carbon monoxide levels and noncontingent payments on smoking behaviors in cocaine-abusing outpatients wearing nicotine or placebo patches.

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Mental Health Service Line, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, 72205, USA.


In a 2-week intervention to reduce cigarette smoking among outpatients in treatment for cocaine addiction, 20 subjects were randomly assigned to a contingent group, receiving monetary vouchers for breath samples with carbon monoxide (CO) levels of 8 ppm or less, or to a noncontingent group, receiving vouchers regardless of CO level. Subjects wore either nicotine or placebo patches in a randomized crossover design. Contingent subjects had significantly lower CO levels and met the 8 ppm target significantly more often than did noncontingent subjects; however, number of cigarettes reported smoked did not differ between groups. Use of nicotine patches resulted in CO levels significantly lower than did use of placebo patches, but levels still exceeded 8 ppm regardless of type of patch. Because contingent reward helped cocaine-dependent smokers achieve nonsmoking CO targets, behavioral antismoking interventions merit continued study in similar populations.

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