Abstinence and relapse rates following a college campus-based quit & Win contest

Janet L. Thomas, Larry An, Xianghua Luo, Robyn M. Scherber, Carla J. Berg, Dave Golden, Edward P. Ehlinger, Sharon E. Murphy, Stephen S. Hecht, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To conduct and evaluate Quit & Win contests at 2 2-year college and 2 4-year university campuses. Participants: During Spring semester, 2006, undergraduates (N = 588) interested in quitting smoking signed up for a Quit & Win 30-day cessation contest for a chance to win a lottery prize. Methods: Participants (N = 588) completed a baseline survey, provided a urine sample to verify smoking status before joining the contest, and completed a follow-up survey at contest end to assess abstinence. Participants reporting continuous 30-day abstinence were surveyed again 2 weeks post contest to assess relapse. Results: Participants smoked an average of 9.8 ± 6.7 cigarettes/day on 26.7 ± 5.7 days/month. Among participants completing a follow-up survey (74%), 72.1% reported abstinence during the entire contest period (Intent-to-Treat Analysis = 53.2%). 55.3% of those abstinent at the end of contest had resumed smoking 2 weeks post contest. Conclusions: Campus Quit & Win contests appear feasible, acceptable, and effective at facilitating short-term abstinence. Further research is needed to identify strategies to prevent postcontest relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-372
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • College
  • Contest
  • Incentive
  • Smoking cessation
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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