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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this project was provided by Intramural Research Funds of the University of Minnesota.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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


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