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Journal of Addiction
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 915652, 6 pages
Research Article

Predictors of Middle School Students’ Interest in Participating in an Incentive-Based Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program in Connecticut

1Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, CMHC, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA
2Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, 330 Cedar Street LMP 4086, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
3Department of Psychology, Texas State University, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA

Received 31 May 2014; Accepted 16 July 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Jennifer B. Unger

Copyright © 2014 Meghan E. Morean et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Behavioral incentives have been used to encourage smoking cessation in older adolescents, but the acceptability of incentives to promote a smoke-free lifestyle in younger adolescents is unknown. To inform the development of novel, effective, school-based interventions for youth, we assessed middle school students’ interest in participating in an incentive-based tobacco abstinence program. We surveyed 988 students (grades 6–8) attending three Connecticut middle schools to determine whether interest in program participation varied as a function of (1) intrapersonal factors (i.e., demographic characteristics (sex, age, race), smoking history, and trait impulsivity) and/or (2) aspects of program design (i.e., prize type, value, and reward frequency). Primary analyses were conducted using multiple regression. A majority of students (61.8%) reported interest in program participation. Interest did not vary by gender, smoking risk status, or offering cash prizes. However, younger students, non-Caucasian students, behaviorally impulsive students, and students with higher levels of self-regulation were more likely to report interest. Inexpensive awards (e.g., video games) offered monthly motivated program interest. In sum, middle school students reported high levels of interest in an incentive-based program to encourage a tobacco-free lifestyle. These formative data can inform the design of effective, incentive-based smoking cessation and prevention programs in middle schools.