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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 have only a few more weeks 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 publicly-funded post-secondary institution 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 24, 2016 to enter the contest online. Two grand prizes of $2,500 are available to be won, as well as smaller cash awards and other prizes. 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.

Contestants can register with a "buddy," who can support them during the six-week contest period. During the contest, entrants will also receive encouraging, supportive tips on how to succeed in their contest category, and how to try again if they slip up. Contestants can also use “quit aids” during the contest, including nicotine patches and gum.

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For media inquiries, contact:

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

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