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KICKING INTO HIGH GEAR

- Return of Driven to Quit Challenge Encourages People to Go Tobacco-Free to Win Better Health and Prizes -

The Driven to Quit Challenge is revving up again to give local smokers a chance to win a brand-new vehicle and get on the road to tobacco-free living.

After a one-year break, the Driven to Quit Challenge returns in 2014 to give people the opportunity to win a brand-new Dodge Avenger or Dodge Journey, or one of seven $1,000 cash prizes. All contest entrants have to do is stay tobacco-free for the entire month of March with the help of a ‘buddy,’ who is also eligible to win a cash prize of $100. The Driven to Quit Challenge is organized by the Canadian Cancer Society.

During National Non-Smoking Week (January 19-25), the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is encouraging local residents who regularly smoke or use other tobacco products to take up the Driven to Quit Challenge. During the last Driven to Quit Challenge in 2012, nearly 680 people entered the contest from the Health Unit’s region, which includes Haliburton County, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County.

“Local residents are encouraged to take up the Driven to Quit Challenge, because this is one instance in which being a quitter can really pay off for someone,” says Jennifer Robertson, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Not only do you have an opportunity to win a brand-new vehicle, but the best prize you can take home is better health for yourself and your loved ones.”

Driven to Quit is open to Ontario residents 19 years or age and older. To enter, people can visit  or call the Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333. Deadline to register is midnight on February 28, 2014. Every person who enters the Driven to Quit Challenge will receive discount coupons towards the purchase of nicotine patches and gum.

In addition to receiving support from their quit buddies, contestants can also get help in their quest to stay tobacco-free by accessing the free services available through the Smokers’ Helpline.

According to Robertson, people who take part in the Driven to Quit Challenge increase the likelihood that they will become tobacco-free for good. An evaluation from the 2012 Driven to Quit Challenge found 28 per cent of tobacco users who took part in the contest remained smoke-free for more than 90 days. Just over half of contestants remained smoke-free for longer than 30 days.

“The Driven to Quit Challenge gives you motivation and support to go tobacco-free,” says Robertson. “Remember, it can take several tries give up tobacco, but every quit attempt brings you closer to success.”

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For media inquiries, contact:

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

or Stephanie Logan, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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