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News Release

Record numbers take quit smoking challenge

Mar 09, 2011
A record 36,217 people across Ontario are working to stay tobacco free this month, including more than 2,600 from this area who signed up for the annual Driven To Quit challenge and a chance to win a new car.

A record 36,217 people across Ontario are working to stay tobacco free this month, including more than 2,600 from this area who signed up for the annual Driven To Quit challenge and a chance to win a new car.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the response to the challenge,” says Leslie Gordon, tobacco program coordinator with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “And we are ready to support every one of our residents to help them stay quit, not just for the month but for good.”

As well as the choice of a Honda hybrid CR-Z or Insight, those who quit successfully for the month have a chance to win one of two $5,000 vacation getaways, or one of seven regional prizes of a $2,000 gift card. Each participant was required to sign up a support buddy and winners’ buddies will each get a $200 gift card.  

As you work to stay tobacco free, Gordon says it’s important to take it one day at a time, or even one hour at a time if you are finding it difficult.

“Cravings will come, but they pass. Chew some gum, brush your teeth or have a glass of water to distract yourself,” she suggests. “Go for a walk, read a book, and before you know it you’ll have been tobacco free for another day.”

Other tips include changing your routine. Don’t go out to the smoking area with co-workers on your break. After dinner, get up from the table and do something different. If you are worried about being influenced by others, stay away from people or situations that test your willpower.

And finally, if you slip and use tobacco, don’t despair. Start fresh and try again. You may not qualify for a prize but it’s worth the effort. Most people must make a few attempts before they can finally quit for good. So every attempt you make moves you one step closer to a tobacco-free lifestyle and improved health.

More support is available through the Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline which has both one-to-one telephone counseling (1-877-513-5333) and web-based service (www.smokershelpline.ca).

 

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