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QUIT AND CASH IN

- Young People Encouraged to Enter ‘Wouldurather’ Contest to Win Prizes Just by Going Tobacco-Free -


Would you rather use tobacco or win cash?

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is posing that question to young people as it promotes a new six-week, quit-smoking contest that begins on January 26, 2015. The Wouldurather contest challenges young adults in their late teens and twenties to give up tobacco use for a chance to win up to $2,500 in prizes. The contest is organized by Leave the Pack Behind, a youth-focused tobacco control initiative funded by the Ontario government.

“If you are looking for a reason to give up tobacco, the Wouldurather contest is a great way to motivate yourself,” says Jennifer Robertson, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Wouldurather offers a cash incentive to quit, but also provides plenty of support to help you stay tobacco-free for the six-week duration of the contest.”

Wouldurather is a contest open to young people in Ontario between the ages of 18 to 29 years, or students enrolled in college or university. Young people must register prior to January 26, 2015, and can do so by visiting the Wouldurather website. 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.

“Relying on a quit-smoking buddy, while also having access to nicotine patches and gum, can greatly improve your chances of success,” notes Robertson.

There is also plenty of flexibility for people wanting to enter the Wouldurather contest, she adds. The contest gives people four different categories to enter, including:

• 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.

According to Robertson, having a quit-smoking contest geared to young people makes perfect sense. “Smoking rates tend to be higher for young people, so the Wouldurather contest is perfectly suited to reach out to this age group,” she says.

In 2012, approximately 20 per cent of Canadians aged 20 to 24 years were current smokers (Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey).

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For media inquiries, contact:

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

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