There was a time when smoking cigarettes was considered the cool thing to do and advertisements for them were splashed in magazines, on billboards, and all over television.

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Times have changed though and the world agrees that smoking is very much the opposite of cool - especially because of the harmful health side effects that come from the habit. However, an estimated 14 percent of American adults still smoke and struggle to quit.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States with roughly 480,000 people dying from conditions associated with it. In 2021, California proposed a contingency management plan which would pay people to stay sober in the form of cash incentives or payouts for every negative drug test that was conducted over a certain period of time and some have wondered if a similar plan would be enough to entice smokers to quit the habit.

Each year, smoking-related illnesses in the United States cost more than $300 billion dollars. Do the math- with an estimated 34 million smokers, this amounts to $8,832 per smoker spend on smoking-related illnesses.

Ashwinn Krishnaswamy, of Oklahoma Smokes points out, "'While paying smokers to quit may seem a controversial subject doing so would eventually place less pressure on our healthcare system and save more lives."

Oklahoma Smokes surveyed over 3,500 smokers to find out just how much money they would need as an incentive to quit or at the very least, curb their use of cigarettes and the national average was $9,080 however, it was quite a bit more for New Yorkers.

The average smoker in New York said that they would need a cash incentive of no less than $14,400 to get them to drop their habit for good. What's interesting is that 21 percent of New York smokers said that they feel ostracized by society for their smoking habit.

If you're a resident of New York who smokes and you want to quit but aren't sure where to turn, NY Smoke Free has some resources that may help.

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