Evaluation of two community-wide smoking cessation contests

Prev Med. 1987 Mar;16(2):221-34. doi: 10.1016/0091-7435(87)90086-7.


The Pawtucket (Rhode Island) Heart Health Program is designed to effect a community-wide change in heart disease morbidity and mortality by reducing smoking prevalence and other behavioral risks for this disease. The initial emphasis of the Pawtucket Heart Health Program was on the development of risk factor programs within specific churches, work sites, and other organizations in the community. At the end of 9 months of programming, however, only one organization had elected to begin a stop-smoking program. Given the community smoking prevalence of 43.4%, it was decided that larger-scale interventions would be required if a significant public health impact was to be realized. Therefore, a community-wide campaign was mounted to recruit as many participants as possible into the "Up in Smoke" cessation program. A lottery was attached to this program, with the contingency based on program attendance rather than cessation per se. One hundred three participants, including residents of neighboring communities, enrolled in three Up in Smoke lottery groups. At a 3-month follow-up, only 11 (7%) of smokers from the Up in Smoke lottery reported that they were not smoking (10% of those actually contacted). For a variety of reasons, the "Quit and Win" approach was later adopted by the Pawtucket Heart Health Program as the primary smoking intervention. One month after the end of the contest, 20% of those contacted reported not smoking. The percentage of quitters for the Up in Smoke program increased while the Quit and Win rate decreased over longer periods of follow-up. These and other data were compared with those of participants of a screening program conducted concurrently. Lotteries in general and face-to-face recruitment in large crowds were shown to be effective recruiting methods for large-scale smoking cessation programs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Community Health Services
  • Community Participation
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking Prevention*