This study analyzed the cost-effectiveness and distribution of costs by program stage of three smoking cessation programs: a smoking cessation class; an incentive-based quit smoking contest; and a self-help quit smoking kit. The self-help program had the lowest total cost, lowest per cent quit rate, lowest time requirement for participants, and was the most cost-effective. The most effective program, the smoking cessation class, required the most time from participants, had the highest total cost, and was the least cost-effective. The smoking contest was in-between the other two programs in total costs, per cent quit rate, and cost-effectiveness; it required the same time commitment from participants as the self-help program. These findings are interpreted within the context of community-based intervention in which the argument is made that cost-effectiveness is only one of several factors that should determine the selection of smoking cessation programs.