"quit & Win" Contests among College Students: Predictors of Long-Term Smoking Abstinence

Janet L. Thomas, Xianghua Luo, Jill E. Bengtson, Anne Marie Weber-Main, Katherine Lust, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Lawrence An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine smoking abstinence rates and predictors of abstinence among college students enrolled in a campus-based Quit & Win contest. Design: Pre-post measure with no comparison group. Setting: Contests conducted on seven college campuses in 2007. Subjects: Subjects (N = 484) were 23.7 ± 6.8 years of age, 61% female, 16.3% nonwhite, and smoked 12.5 ± 7.8 cigarettes per day on 28.0 ± 4.8 days in the past month. Intervention: Participants abstinent for the 30-day contest were eligible for a lottery-based prize. Assessments were completed at baseline, end of contest, and 6 months after enrollment. Measures: The 6-month survey assessed retrospective abstinence during the contest period and the prior 6 months and 7- and 30-day point prevalence abstinence at the time of the survey. Analysis: Chi-square test was used to compare baseline characteristics among participants from 2-versus 4-year schools. Smoking abstinence was assessed by participant self-report. Both a simple imputation method (i.e., missing = smoking) and completers-only analyses were conducted. Stepwise logistic regression was used to determine baseline predictors of abstinence. Results: Thirty-day abstinence rate was 52.5% during the contest month and 20.5% at the 6-month follow-up. Baseline intention to stay quit (odds ratio [OR] = 1.56, p =.01), cigarettes smoked per day (OR =.67, p =.04), and 2-year (vs. 4-year) college (OR = 1.65, p =.05) predicted abstinence at 6 months. Conclusion: Intention to stay quit even without winning a prize, a measure of intrinsic motivation, predicted both short- and long-term abstinence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 SAGE Publications.


  • awards and prizes
  • college students
  • financial incentives
  • prevention research
  • smoking cessation


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