In the early 1980s the concept of a Quit and Win (Q&W) contest was developed in the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP) as a population-based smoking cessation strategy. The Q&W model has since spread and been applied in many countries around the world. Different communication strategies have been applied for recruiting participants for Q&W. In the Q&W contest in 1995 in Stockholm County, Sweden, direct mail was used as the main recruitment strategy among daily smoking mothers with children aged 0-6 years. Two additional strategies were employed to recruit participants, that is, ads in a local newspaper and personal communication. The target group was estimated to be approximately 4,300 women. In total 5.5% of the target group was recruited, and of those, 4.3% were recruited by direct mail. After 12 months, 14.3% of the women were sustained smoke-free, and the corresponding percentage for those women who were recruited by direct mail was 15.5%. In comparison with several other Q&W contests employing other strategies, the direct-mail technique seems not only to have been successful in recruiting participants, but also in aiding remained sustained smoke-free women after 12 months. To optimize recruitment for Q&W contests, a combination of recruiting strategies should be applied.