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QUIT TO WIN

- ‘Wouldurather’ Quit-Smoking Contest Asks Young Adults If They Would Rather Use Tobacco or Win Cash -

Young adults in the area are being encouraged to cash in on smoke-free living by entering the ‘wouldurather’ contest.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is promoting the quit-smoking contest that challenges young adults to decide if they would rather use tobacco or win cash and other prizes. In order to enter the ‘wouldurather’ contest, people must be 18 to 29 years of age or enrolled in a post-secondary program in Ontario.

“Would you rather quit, reduce or stay smoke-free to win prizes?” asks Jennifer Robertson, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “The start of a New Year is a great time to consider giving up cigarettes and tobacco, and the ‘wouldurather’ contest can be an extra motivator to make that quit attempt.”

Young adults have until January 26, 2014 to enter the contest at www.wouldurather.ca or pick up information at any local Health Unit office. Two grand prizes of $2,500 are available to be won, as well as other cash prizes, tuition waivers and gift cards to various retailers. The ‘wouldurather’ contest is organized by Leave the Pack Behind, a youth-focused tobacco control initiative funded by the Ontario government.

Robertson says the ‘wouldurather’ contest allows young people to choose the category that best suits them, reflecting how often they use tobacco products and their readiness to quit. “There are four different categories to choose from in the contest, recognizing the fact that not everyone is ready to quit right away,” she says. “So whether you smoke a little, a lot, or not at all, there is a category that is perfect for you.”

The four categories in the ‘wouldurather’ contest include:

  • Quit For Good: Regular smokers pledge to quit smoking and remain smoke-free.
  • Keep The Count: Regular smokers pledge to reduce their smoking by half.
  • Party Without The Smoke: Regular or social smokers pledge to give up smoking when drinking alcohol.
  • Don't Start & Win: Non-smokers or ex-smokers pledge to stay smoke-free.

All contestants must register with a "buddy" and will receive motivational e-mails throughout the six-week contest period. Free nicotine patches and gum are also available to eligible contestants.

According to the most recent Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, 18 per cent of young adults in Ontario are current smokers.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Jennifer Robertson, Public Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569.

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