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STRATEGY 5 – Change Consequences (Incentives/Disincentives)

This strategy involves the notion of changing behaviors through:

  • Providing incentives and positive consequences such as recognition, discounts, coupons, rewards that encourage people to engage in specific positive behaviors and strategies, etc.
  • Discouraging people from engaging in specific behaviors by providing disincentives and negative consequences such as fines, citations, loss of privileges, revocations, etc.

These interventions applaud the efforts of those actively engaged in tobacco use prevention and intervention, recognizing that the power of positive influence is contagious. This strategy’s target audiences include: parents, youth, hospitals, daycare centers, dentists, pharmacists, doctors, law enforcement officials, politicians, educators and employers.

Positive consequences and incentives can include:

  • Recognize coalition partners including businesses, government agencies, medical centers and non-profit entities for being active participants in preventing tobacco use through special breakfasts, lunches, sending out press releases, holding press conferences, distributing commemorative plaques, ribbons, certificates, slides and other items.
  • Coordinate recognition activities in conjunction with national prevention events such as World No Tobacco Day, Great American Smoke Out and other events.
  • Create signage that identifies employers, pharmacies, hospitals and other venues as Tobacco Use Prevention Champions.
  • Work with insurance providers to decrease insurance premiums and workers compensation expenses for business that promote a drug-free workplace programs
  • Provide incentives for youth, coaches, teachers, etc. who sign a tobacco-free lifestyle pledge.  Incentives can include drug-free items (mugs, t-shirts, etc.), coupons from local businesses, entry into a raffle for prizes, extra credit for students.
  • Allocate portions of funds from fines and penalties to law enforcement as an incentive to encourage increased enforcement of tobacco-related behaviors.
  • Collaborate with healthcare associations by recognizing healthcare providers who record and ask every patient about tobacco use during every visit and providing reminders for missed opportunities to ask patients about tobacco use.
  • Recognize tobacco vendors that pass compliance checks and “Reward and Reminder” checks through rapid and public rewards for both clerks and retailers.
  • Work with schools to conduct poster competition and campaigns where youth create anti-tobacco message.  Provide rewards and recognition for all contest entrants and winners.
  • Survey your current business partners to verify their current tobacco use policy, provide signage to businesses with a tobacco-free policy.  Recognize new businesses that adopt policies with an ad in the local paper.

Negative consequences and disincentives can include:

  • Increased penalties for failed retailer compliance checks including mandatory training, increasing fines and loss of license.
  • Mandatory parent education for parents of youth who violate school tobacco policies.
  • Graduated penalties for youth who violate school tobacco policies and local tobacco laws.  The penalties can include loss of privileges:  participation in extra-curricular activities, driver’s license
  • Mandatory education and assessment for youth in violation of school smoking policy.
  • Requirement of additional documentation and verification of training and compliance for tobacco vendors who fail compliance checks.
  • Increased taxes on tobacco products and related items.