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News item | 10 November 2020

Towards a smoke-free future

Upon arrival at Erasmus MC blue lines, banners and posters of the smoke-free generation greet you. Smoke-free zones are an important factor in the road to a smoke-free generation. What’s being done at MGZ to contribute to a future without smoking? In the video below two projects are highlighted.


“More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette”, a slogan luckily no longer in use. Health care personnel is usually well aware of their exemplary role in healthy behaviour and during the implementation of the smoke-free zone. In order to support employees in smoking cessation, Erasmus MC offers free group-based smoking cessation training. Group training combined with financial incentives has proven to be effective in supporting participants to reach sustained abstinence, but room for improvement remains. The PERSIST-trial aims to investigate the effect of personalised incentives on smoking cessation, using personal characteristics to advise participants what type of incentive would suit them best. More detail is available at https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/9/e037799.abstract


If smoking a cigarette is the only moment of peace you have, why would you quit? Financial issues, imminent eviction or job insecurity are stressful factors, especially when faced simultaneously. According to the theory of scarcity such stressors will take up cognitive bandwidth, leaving less room for healthier behaviour. The Growpad project investigates in close collaboration with social care organizations de Uitvoeringsbrigade and Bureau Frontlijn what happens if such stressors are reduced. By strengthening capacities of participants, can we decrease stress, increase cognitive bandwidth and ultimately create more space for healthier behaviour? Unique in the Growpad project is its focus on health behaviour without intervening on the behaviour itself, but instead addressing the underlying factors that sustain it.

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