If you’ve been a smoker for a long time and have tried every method of smoking cessation to no avail, maybe you’d be more motivated if you join ‘get paid to quit smoking’ campaigns.
We all know that you can get paid to sleep, get paid to lose weight, get paid to walk, get paid to eat, or heck you can even get paid to do nothing, so the idea of earning money to quit smoking isn’t too far-fetched, right?
So are there programs available for smokers to join?
5 Ways to Get Paid to Quit Smoking
Aside from the vast savings you would get by not having to buy cigarettes any more, there are ways you can also make money on top of kicking the habit.
Here are the 5 best ways to do so…
1. Join a Paid Clinical Trial
The medical and research industry actually want people to succeed in quitting. They’ve been paying volunteers to participate in clinical trials for years.
These paid clinical trials are offered by the government, non-profit organizations, and private companies. They’re mostly involved in the development of smoking cessation products, such as patches, inhalers, gum, prescription tablets, and other quit smoking aids.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Get free tools – You may receive free patches, meds, training materials, and other tools needed for the study. Sometimes, you also get vouchers, transportation passes, and other extras to make it easier for you to participate in the trial.
- Get paid after the study – To make sure volunteers finish until the end of the clinical trial, payment is given after the study.
- Payment amount varies – You can get paid to quit smoking for a couple of hundred dollars for a day or two of clinical trial. You earn higher the longer duration a trial is. For example, a study pays $1,500 for a two-week commitment wherein you’ll need to physically go to a center each morning and get your heart rate checked.
You can find clinical trials in local universities, local hospitals and research centers.
For example, Duke University’s Department of Psychiatry currently opens mSMART Smoking Study for participants willing to use Chantix® (varenicline) as aid to quit smoking.
I keep an updated list of paid clinical studies here as well.
The National Institute of Health’s website ClinicalTrials.gov also keeps an up-to-date list of quit-smoking clinical trials from both the government and private organizations.
2. Find a Program from a Private Company
You can find plenty of support from different sources. Some pay cash for you to get into a quit-smoking program, while others give away free aids.
- NoButts.org – Exclusive for California residents, Asian-language speakers and Helpline callers who live with children ages 5 and under may be eligible for free nicotine patches, sent directly to their home. To see if you qualify, call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.
- QuitPlan.com – Minnesota residents give away a two-week supply of nicotine patches, gum and lozenges as starter kit. All these free items would’ve cost you up to $200 if bought from your own money.
Even your church and other similar organizations have partnered with the Federal government in giving support to people who are quitting smoking.
The CDC has a list of religious organizations with smoking cessation programs for their community.
3. Let the Government Help You
It has been proven that the government can save 50x more money for every dollar spent on helping people quit smoking.
In fact, California’s tobacco control program saved $134 billion in personal health care expenditures from its start in 1989 to 2008. That’s a whopping ROI of $55 saved for every $1 spent.
As such, both national and local government offer plenty of smoking cessation programs.
Probably the most important and significant out of all the U.S. government’s programs come from The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which pays potential quitters with money through Medicare, Traditional Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion or other health insurance plans.
The American Lung Association lists down all health plans and the type of smoking cessation program covered.
4. Smoking Cessation at Work
Employers know that they can save up to $5,000 annually for every 1 employee who quits smoking.
Not only do smoking cessation programs extend the lives of employees, it also saves the company money from lowered healthcare costs, increased workplace productivity (since there are less smoking breaks), and prevented premature deaths.
Aside from participating in clinical studies, some companies also create their own smoking cessation programs.
In 2015, the National Business Group on Health surveyed 121 large companies and discovered that that the average money won by those deciding to quit smoking was $900 every year.
The cash incentive varies from one company to the next. For example:
- A 200-employee-strong IT company offers $300 reimbursement a year to employees buying smoking-cessation aids or meds
- A 50-employee ad agency gives any employee a $250 check to quit smoking.
- An architectural firm pays an employee $300 to get an age-appropriate check-up (with extra $300 if he/she brings along a spouse).
Even if most companies pay only $500 a year (or less), the cash incentive is still effective for some people.
Unfortunately, companies are having trouble going all in on cash-based smoking cessation programs because non-smokers are finding them unfair.
Non-smokers do have a bigger percentage discount on health insurance, while smokers can pay up to 18% penalty as long as they continue their smoking habit.
5. Find Extra Money from Quitting
These methods do not actually reward an ex-smoker any money, but his/her decision to quit smoking will bring extra money to take home.
Tax savings from cigarettes
The government increases the taxes for cigarettes and alcoholic drinks regularly in hopes of discouraging people to buy them. Unfortunately, based on government statistics, levying heavy taxes on cigarettes doesn’t seem to make most people quit smoking.
The taxes on a single pack of cigarette range from 17 cents to $5.10, depending on which state you live in.
If you smoke a pack a day in NYC (a state which adds $4.35 taxes per pack), you can easily save $130/month or a whopping $1,500/year just by quitting your smoking habit.
Health insurance savings
Like the tax savings you get from quitting smoking, the savings you get from your health insurance premiums will be significant enough that you can afford an annual trip, or buy the newest smartphone every year.
Insurance companies are given the right to charge up to 50% higher premiums on health plans for smokers.
It’s written under the Affordable Care Act, too! As such, if you’ve been a smoker for over a decade or so, you could be paying double the amount compared to a regular health plan for a non-smoker and his/her family.
If you’re interested in the monetary value, that’s more or less $300 to $500 extra premium/year that you’ve been paying as a smoker. Of course, this amount will depend on the insurer, your health plan, and state where you reside in.
“Get Paid to Quit Smoking” Apps
You can find many awesome quit-smoking apps for both Android and iOS.
But if you’re training your mind to turn off instant gratification, which many smokers claim cigarette-smoking offers them, these 3 apps show you your progress in reaching personal rewards/goals:
These apps have all the basic features (money saved, number of cigarette sticks NOT smokes, health benefits, and so on).
What separates them from the rest is that they show you various rewards you can get if you stop smoking, which is a pretty good motivational tool for people who prefer some kind of incentive for their decision.
Time to Kick the Habit
According to the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about 70% of smokers say they want to stop, but only about 6% of them succeed.
Having support during the challenges of quitting cigarettes is a crucial part of every ex-smoker’s success.
With the programs I listed above, I hope you can find one that can help you actually get paid to quit smoking.
Be sure you check out this list of paid online research studies as there are some in there targeting smokers specifically.