Background: Within the CINDI framework, a European "Quit and Win" contest was organized in 1994. In Finland the number of participants was 5,879 (0.6% of smokers). In the CINDI demonstration area, North Karelia (NK), the participants numbered 618 (2.0% of smokers). This study compared abstinence maintenance among the participants in NK with the rates found elsewhere in Finland and analyzed determinants for successful quitting.
Methods: A follow-up study was conducted 12 months after the quit date with a sample of 2,114 participants. Response rates of 67-68% were achieved (n = 1,419). The abstinence was assessed at 1, 6, and 12 months. Two estimates are presented: (1) the proportion of abstainers among the respondents and (2) the proportion of abstainers among the sample, considering all nonrespondents smokers. The determinants for maintenance of smoking cessation were analyzed with logistic regression.
Results: Using the first estimate, the rates at 1/6/12 months were 75/36/28% in NK and 70/28/21% elsewhere (P < 0.01). Using the second estimate, the corresponding rates were 50/24/19% in NK and 46/19/14% elsewhere. The most significant determinants for successful quitting were sex, age, marital status, level of withdrawal symptoms, previous quitting attempts, and support received.
Conclusions: The recruitment of smokers and the maintained cessation were more successful in the demonstration area. The difference between areas was explained by differences in the combined professional and lay support and by the sex and age distributions.