Tobacco cessation contests

In tobacco cessation contests, participants are encouraged to quit using tobacco on a particular date or during a specific time period; successful participants are eligible for raffles, lotteries, or prize drawings, which may include financial payments or other rewards. Often called Quit & Win contests, tobacco cessation contests may be part of larger cessation interventions with counseling or pharmacological treatments (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)) (). Competitions can occur at worksites or within the broader community (CG-Tobacco use).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Reduced tobacco consumption

  • Increased quit rates

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Increased quit rates

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether tobacco cessation contests reduce smoking when implemented alone (CG-Tobacco use). Available evidence suggests that contests may help some smokers quit, but are not likely to affect community smoking rates (). Contests may be part of broader cessation programs with counseling or pharmacological treatments () which can decrease tobacco use in the short-term (, , Ledgerwood 2014); very substantial cash rewards for confirmed tobacco free participants may also decrease tobacco use in the short-term (). An assessment of multi-component Quit & Win contests at 19 universities suggests that participation in multiple contests may increase the likelihood of quitting (). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Impact on Disparities

No impact on disparities likely

Implementation Resources

Quit and Win - University of Minnesota. What is Quit and Win?

Citations - Evidence

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

CG-Tobacco use - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Tobacco.

Cochrane-Cahill 2014* - Cahill K, Lancaster T. Workplace interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014;(2):CD003440.

Cochrane-Cahill 2008a* - Cahill K, Perera R. Quit and Win contests for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008;(4):CD004986.

Cochrane-Cahill 2015* - Cahill K, Perera R. Incentives for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2015;(5):CD004307.

Ledgerwood 2014 - Ledgerwood DM, Arfken CL, Petry NM, Alessi SM. Prize contingency management for smoking cessation: A randomized trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2014;140:208-212.

Thomas 2016* - Thomas JL, Luo X, Bengtson J, et al. Enhancing Quit & Win contests to improve cessation among college smokers: A randomized clinical trial. Addiction. 2016;111(2):331-339.

Date Last Updated

Jan 5, 2017