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News Release

Journey to quit smoking earns young Barrie carpenter $1,000

Apr 17, 2014
As a young adult who smokes, Barrie carpenter Brent Taylor fit the profile exactly. He was among the two-thirds of people who, research shows, are seriously thinking about quitting, and he was eager for a cash incentive to try.

SIMCOE-MUSKOKA – As a young adult who smokes, Barrie carpenter Brent Taylor fit the profile exactly. He was among the two-thirds of people who, research shows, are seriously thinking about quitting, and he was eager for a cash incentive to try.

It was a decision that paid off 1,000 times for the local man who entered the WoulduRather contest for young adults, designed to help 18 to 29-year-olds work to become tobacco free. 

Taylor entered under the Keep the Count category and committed to cut the number of cigarettes he smoked at least in half for the six-week contest period, which ran from January through mid-March. 

He succeeded on two fronts. He successfully cut back on the number of cigarettes he smoked by more than half, and he was one of two randomly selected $1,000 draw winners from his category.

Today he says, he still smokes an occasional cigarette on the weekends, but his goal is to quit for good, like his girlfriend has done. She told him about the contest and encouraged him to enter with her.

“There are two things that got me through,” says Taylor who has been struggling to quit for five years. “Keeping myself busy and distracted as well as the motivation of possibly winning $1,000.” 

More than 13,400 young adults across Ontario participated in the WoulduRather contest. Eight cash prizes were won by successful participants in four categories: Quit for Good ($2,500), Keep the Count ($1,000), Party without the Smoke ($750), and Stay Smoke Free ($250). 

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit partnered with contest organizer Leave the Pack Behind to promote the contest locally. Once registered, participants were offered quitting supports that included access to telephone or online counseling and a free eight-week supply of nicotine patches or gum.  

A complete list of winners is available on the website www.wouldurather.ca. For more information and supports to help quit smoking call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 or visit us online at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

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