Background: Quit and Win '96 recruited 70,000 smokers in 25 countries. The participants tried to abstain from smoking for at least 4 weeks. All participating countries followed the jointly agreed rules. Half of the countries implemented the campaign nationally and half, regionally.
Methods: A 1-year follow-up study was conducted in the participating countries. The aim of this study was to provide a standardized evaluation based on data from eight European campaign sites. Three measures were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaigns. The first measure was the participation rate, which is the proportion of participants among the smoking population targeted in each site. The second measure was a cautious estimate for the continuous 1-year abstinence rate, which is the proportion of abstainers among the follow-up sample regarding all non-respondents as relapsed. Third was the measure of the population impact, which is the efficacy of the intervention multiplied by its reach, where the efficacy equals the abstinence rate and the reach equals the participation rate.
Results: The participation rates varied from 0.1 to 2%, being highest in North Karelia, Finland, and Pitka;auranta, Russia. The abstinence rates varied from 12 to 35%, being highest in Hungary, Ukraine, and Russia, where the prevalence of smoking is also relatively high. The population impacts varied from 0.02 to 0.5%, being highest in Pitka;auranta, where both the reach and the efficacy of the Quit and Win were relatively high.
Conclusions: There was great variation in effectiveness, with population impact being affected more by participation rate than abstinence rate. Quit and Win contests are feasible interventions in diverse European populations. To improve the effectiveness, future campaigns should increase the reach of the intervention.
Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.