Canadian Cancer Society drives Ontario smokers to take the challenge



    Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and David
    Suzuki launch The Driven to Quit Challenge to mark National Non-Smoking
    Week

    TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - To kick off National Non-Smoking Week (January
20-26), the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion,
and Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki are supporting the launch of The
Driven to Quit Challenge 2008, a province-wide challenge to the more than 1.6
million Ontario smokers to quit smoking. One successful quitter will drive
away with a 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid, while seven other regional prize winners
will walk away with $3,000 Future Shop gift cards.
    The Challenge is designed to motivate Ontario adults who are daily
smokers to make a quit attempt, use available resources and supports, and
embrace a healthier lifestyle with all of the personal health and related
gains that come from being smoke-free.
    "Smoking is an addiction, and we realize how difficult it can be to stop.
The Driven to Quit Challenge is an incentive for Ontario smokers to make a
quit attempt," says Peter Goodhand, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario
Division. "The Challenge also lets Ontario smokers know that there are many
resources and support systems in place to help them quit. Having a buddy as a
Challenge condition is one way of showing participants that they're not alone
in their efforts to stop smoking."
    Funding for The Driven to Quit Challenge is provided by the Ontario
Ministry of Health Promotion. "Ontario's smoking rate has declined
significantly under the McGuinty government," says Health Promotion Minister
Margarett Best. "However, smoking continues to kill 13,000 Ontarians every
year. Saving and improving lives is our priority. Take the Challenge. Quit and
win!"
    In support of The Driven to Quit Challenge, David Suzuki encourages
Ontario smokers to take the challenge and become smoke-free. "The science is
in. It is indisputable that smoking causes cancer," says Suzuki. "Just as
protection of the environment is a matter of personal responsibility, so is
protecting our own health. Giving up smoking is one of the most effective ways
of improving our health."
    Beginning today, participants can register for The Driven to Quit
Challenge online at www.driventoquit.ca, by faxing/mailing a registration form
(available from Smokers' Helpline, Canadian Cancer Society local offices and
local public health units) or by calling Smokers' Helpline at 1 877 513-5333
by February 29, 2008. Registrants who remain smoke-free for the month of March
2008 will be entered into the grand prize draw on March 31, 2008.
    The Canadian Cancer Society has a long-standing commitment to tobacco
control. As one of many ongoing initiatives, The Driven to Quit Challenge
encourages Ontario adults to quit smoking and provides them with the help they
need to remain smoke-free. The Society continues to focus on tobacco control
initiatives, educating Canadians about the dangers associated with tobacco use
and second-hand smoke, discouraging the use of all tobacco products and
providing help to smokers looking to quit.

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of
the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more
about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
    The Canadian Cancer Society Smokers' Helpline is a free, confidential
service that provides personalized support, advice and information about
quitting smoking and tobacco use. The service is available in English and
French at 1 877 513-5333 and online at www.smokershelpline.ca.

    The Driven to Quit Challenge is a health promotion campaign 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 Driven to Quit Challenge is presented in collaboration with your
local public health department.




For further information:

For further information: about The Driven to Quit Challenge and to speak
with a Canadian Cancer Society spokesperson, please contact: Andrew Leopold,
Ashleigh Cartier, Weber Shandwick, (416) 642-7949, (416) 642-7899,
aleopold@webershandwick.com, acartier@webershandwick.com; To speak with a
spokesperson from the Ministry of Health Promotion, please contact: Rick Byun,
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister, Ministry of Health Promotion, (416)
326-8497


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