BACKGROUND: Smoking is the primary preventable risk factor for disease and premature mortality. It is highly addictive and cessation attempts are often unsuccessful. Incentive-based programmes may be an effective method to reach sustained abstinence. Individualisation of incentives based on personal characteristics yields potential to further increase the effectiveness of incentive-based programmes. METHOD: A randomised controlled trial among healthcare workers recruited through their employer and signed up for a group-based smoking cessation programme. The intervention under study is the provision of personalised incentives on validated smoking cessation at several time points after the smoking cessation programme. A total of 220 participants are required. Participants are randomised 1:1 into intervention (personalised incentives) or control (no incentives). All participants join the group-based programme. Incentives are provided on validated abstinence directly after the smoking cessation programme and after 3, 6 and 12 months.Incentives are provided according to four schemes:(1) Standard: total reward size €350, pay-out scheme: €50 (t=0), €50 (t=3 months), €50 (t=6 months) and €200 (t=12 months), (2) descending: total reward size €300, pay-out scheme: €150, €100, €50 and €0, (3) ascending: total reward size: €400, pay-out scheme: €0, €0, €50 and €350 and (4) deposit: total reward size €450, pay-out scheme: €50, €50, €150, €200; participants pay a €100 deposit, returned conditional on abstinence after 6 months.Advice on which incentive scheme suits participants best is based on willingness to provide a deposit, readiness to quit, nicotine dependency and long-term or short-term reward preference. Participants are free to deviate from this advice. Abstinence is validated at each time point, with 15 months of total follow-up. The primary end point is validated abstinence at 12 months. Effectiveness will be determined by intention-to-treat analysis. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The Erasmus MC Medical Ethics Committee decided that according to the Dutch Human Research Law (WMO), the protocol required no formal ethical approval. The results will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and communicated to the participants. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Netherlands Trial Register NL7711.

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Journal BMJ Open
Boderie, N.W. (Nienke W.), van Kippersluis, J.L. (Johannes Lw), Ó Ceallaigh, D.T. (Diarmaid T.), Radó, M.K. (Márta K), Burdorf, A, van Lenthe, F.J, & Been, J.V. (Jasper V.). (2020). PERSonalised Incentives for Supporting Tobacco cessation (PERSIST) among healthcare employees: a randomised controlled trial protocol. BMJ Open, 10(9). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037799