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Delhi resident quits smoking, wins $2,000 prize

SIMCOE, ON, APRIL 27, 2009 – Delhi resident Carole Kuchar-Farkas has won a $2,000 Canadian Tire gift card in Ontario’s Driven to Quit Challenge that helps people quit smoking.

A total of 22,365 Ontarians participated in the challenge, which required them to quit smoking for the month of March. All participants had their names entered in a draw. A Thunder Bay resident took home a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu hybrid as the grand prize draw winner and two other people won $5,000 vacations. Carole was one of seven regional winners who received the gift cards. She won the draw for central west Ontario.

“We’re thrilled that someone within our area won a draw prize,” said Michelle Alvey, Tobacco Use Prevention Health Promoter with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, which promoted the challenge. “We’re even more thrilled that Carole was able to kick the habit. She’s tried to quit four times and has now been smoke free for 14 weeks.”

Alvey said it often takes four to seven quit attempts for a smoker to succeed.

Carole, who has smoked for 40 years and was smoking a pack a day, said she decided to take the challenge after hearing about the competition through an ad in local media. She had quit in January and thought the challenge would motivate her to continue.

All participants were required to have a “quit buddy” and Carole praised her buddy, Munie Sami, for keeping her on the path. Each of the 10 winners’ buddies received a $250 Canadian Tire gift card.

“I trust Munie,” Carole said. “She is a good friend who gave me encouragement.”

Quitting smoking may be tough, but the rewards are many, Carole said.

“I have more time. I have more money. I’ve learned to cope with stress in a different way.” All eight winners of the 2008 Driven to Quit Challenge have remained smoke free more than one year later.

The Driven to Quit Challenge is hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and prize support from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. The challenge is promoted by Ontario’s Health Units. The public can view a full list of winners at driventoquit.ca.

Anyone looking to quit or help someone quit is encouraged to get support through the Canadian Cancer Society Smokers’ Helpline toll-free at 1-877-513-5333 or by contacting the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623.

Media contact:

Michelle Alvey, Health Promoter
Tobacco Use Prevention
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3248 or 905-318-6623 Ext. 3248
michelle.alvey@hnhu.org