Thunder Bay man drives away Dodge Journey in smoking challenge
SIMCOE MUSKOKA — There were 11,330 winners in the Driven to Quit smoking challenge — but only one tangible winner.
The rest just won longer life.
So says the Simcoe-Muskoka Health Unit.
There were also seven regional winners of $1,000.
the health unit.
“Across the province 11,330 adults took the challenge including almost 900 in our area,” said Leslie Gordon, tobacco program coordinator at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “While we didn’t have a local draw winner, all residents who entered the challenge have moved closer to the real prize-becoming tobacco free for life.”
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Canada and it will kill one of every two long-term users.
And according to Gordon, smoking rates in Simcoe Muskoka are about 25 per cent, or one in four adults.
She said an overview of challenge participants from our area shows the average age was 41, with slightly more females (54 per cent) than males registering.
Participants smoked about 16 cigarettes a day and on average started smoking at 16 years of age. Most had made two quit attempts in the past year.
“We know quitting is a process and it can take multiple attempts before a person successfully quits for good,” Gordon said. “That is why we see every attempt as a success. You learn from the experience and it prepares you for the next attempt and reaching your goal of becoming tobacco free.”
The Driven to Quit Challenge is presented annually by the Canadian Cancer Society in partnership with local health units.
The grand prize winner of a new Dodge Journey is Thunder Bay resident Ralph Baxter.
A full list of regional winners is available at www.driventoquit.ca.<file:///C:\Users\mjones\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary%20Internet%20Files\Content.Outlook\W5QUNRJJ\www.driventoquit.ca>
Support is available for anyone who wants to quit, or who needs help staying tobacco free through Smokers’ Helpline with telephone counseling by calling 1-877-513-5333 or online at www.smokershelpline.ca<http://www.smokershelpline.ca>.
Information and support is also available through Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-720-7520 or online at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org<http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org
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