Quit smoking contest offers cash for winners

By Lindsay Advocate

Quit smoking contest offers cash for winners

If you’re someone who regularly smokes, smokes socially, has stopped smoking or never smoked in your life, this contest can pay off for you. 

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is encouraging young people to take part in a six-week, quit-smoking contest that runs from Jan. 29 to March 11, 2018.

The ‘Wouldurather’ contest – open to young people in Ontario between the ages of 18 to 29 years – challenges entrants to give up tobacco for a chance to win up to $2,500 in cash. The contest is organized by Leave the Pack Behind, a program funded by the Ontario government that offers young adults information about becoming tobacco-free. 

“As the contest suggests, ‘wouldurather’ win cash or engage in something like smoking that can have long-lasting negative effects on your health?” asks Jennifer Robertson, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit.

“Not only does the Wouldurather contest offer a cash incentive to quit, it also provides plenty of support to help you stay tobacco-free during the six-week contest.” 

To sign up for the contest, visit the Wouldurather website here and register prior to January 28, 2018. The contest offers four categories to enter:

  • Quit For Good: Quit smoking completely and have a chance to win $2,500.
  • Keep The Count: Cut smoking by half to be eligible to win $1,000.
  • Party Without The Smoke: Cut out smoking while drinking or attending a party and get a chance to win $500.
  • Don’t Start and Win: Stay smoke-free for an opportunity to win $250.

People can register with a ‘buddy’ who can support them during the contest. Participants can also consult with their health care providers about using quit aids such as nicotine replacement therapy (patch, gum) or discuss prescription medication options.

“Eligible participants who rely on a quit-smoking buddy, and who also have access to nicotine patches and gum, can greatly improve their chances of success,” notes Robertson. “Research also shows that people can double their chances of successfully quitting smoking when they join the contest.”

Quitting smoking is very timely, as National Non-Smoking Week (January 21-27) and Weedless Wednesday (January 24) both occur this month.

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