The "Quit. For Life" campaign was a media-based programme that was aimed at reducing the prevalence of smoking in Sydney. The programme committee set four intermediate goals which it felt had to be met for such a change in prevalence to occur. From households selected at random in Sydney and Melbourne, 5713 people were interviewed to assess whether the campaign attained these goals. The television commercials that were designed for the campaign, their frequency and the timing of their screening produced a higher recall of the commercial's message and the use of campaign back-up services than were specified originally in the goals. During the campaign there was a progressive increase in the number of smokers in Sydney who reported that they were likely to quit; this was significantly different from Melbourne data by the end of the campaign and thus fulfilled another campaign goal. However, shortly after the campaign ended, the proportion of smokers who intended to quit smoking was the same in the two cities. A cohort study of 949 people from the baseline study showed that, during the 12-month period of follow-up, 66% of Sydney smokers tried to stop or to reduce their smoking. In the control city, Melbourne, 60% of smokers reported making such attempts. Of the original smokers, 23% in Sydney and 9% in Melbourne quit during the follow-up period--a statistically significant difference. As well, 10% of the original ex-smokers in Sydney and 11% in Melbourne relapsed, while 4% of nonsmokers in both cities began smoking by the end of the second survey.