Smoking not only hurts the person who smokes, but it is a cost to all of us because it places a tremendous economic burden on our health care system. Providing incentives to encourage people to stop smoking are effective and can save money in the reduced health care costs that result from people stopping smoking.
One example of a stop smoking incentive is taking place in Minnesota, the QuitCash Challenge. If you are a Minnesota resident and are thinking of stopping smoking, you can be a winner in many ways. In addition to all the gains you will get from not smoking you could also win cash and other prizes. Log onto the website www.quitcash.com to find out more, but you need to enter by September 30.
If you are not a Minnesota resident you might want to encourage your state, or your workplace to find ways to encourage people to make a stop attempt. A small investment toward incentives to quit can result in big savings in health care costs.
Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org