Close to 22,000 smokers have registered for the Quit to Win! Challenge

Participants commit to not smoke for at least 6 weeks

MONTREAL, March 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A total of 21,732 Quebec smokers are currently taking part in the 2013 Quit to Win! Challenge. By registering, participants commit to not smoke for at least 6 weeks for the duration of the campaign, which started March 1 and ends April 11.

"We are thrilled that nearly 22,000 smokers are taking advantage of the Quit to Win! Challenge to kick start and consolidate their efforts to quit smoking—we applaud them!" says Guy Desrosiers, General Manager of ACTI-MENU, the social enterprise that started the Challenge. "This confirms that the campaign is still relevant in Quebec and that it's important to continue our efforts to support Quebecers who want to quit smoking."

An effective campaign
On average, 2 out of 3 participants successfully meet the challenge of not smoking for the 6 weeks of the campaign. The effectiveness of the Challenge was also confirmed in a recent study by Montreal's Direction de santé publique, which estimates that, since the campaign's creation in 2000, more than 60,000 Quebecers have become non-smokers by participating in past Challenges.

"Nearly 20% of adult participants remained non-smokers a year after quitting, which is much higher than the abstinence rate of 3% to 5% among individuals who quit smoking without seeking assistance. Now that's motivating for participants!" says Dr. Roxane Néron, medical spokesperson for the Quit to Win! Challenge.

Highlights of the 2013 campaign

  • 21,732 participants are taking part in the 2013 Quit to Win! Challenge.
  • The vast majority (78%) of participants registered alone, whereas 14% registered with another smoker who also wants to quit, and 7% registered with a non-smoking sponsor.
  • 66% of participants are women and 34% are men.
  • The participation rate is highest among 20- to 34-year-olds, who represent 32% of the registrations.
  • The Challenge is one of the smoking cessation campaigns that reaches the greatest number of adult smokers in Quebec.

Free support to maximize the chances of success
Participants who are currently taking part in the Challenge are encouraged to use the resources that are provided to help them succeed. Participants can use pharmacological treatment or one of the national smoking cessation services, such as the iQuitnow helpline (1 866 527-7383) or the Quit Smoking Centres.

To increase their chances of success, the Challenge offers participants—for the 6 weeks of the campaign and the rest of the year— free support tools, including a Participant's File, the I'm Butting Out! motivational emails, and the Jean Coutu to the Rescue Support Kit. Participants have a chance of winning one of numerous prizes, including a trip to Punta Cana, courtesy of Transat Holidays and Iberostar.

What's more, the Quit to Win! Challenge Facebook page (in French) (facebook.com/defitabac) has gained in popularity and now has more than 10,000 fans. The page is a great source of motivation, encouraging participants to interact with others and share their experiences, tips, and encouragement to stay non-smokers!

"Registering for the Challenge in 2012 really helped me because I got lots of free support and I never felt alone!" says Véronique Porlier, a former smoker and participant in the 2012 Challenge. "Now it's my turn to encourage each and every participant to stay strong! Make it your personal challenge and everybody wins."

If you haven't registered for the Challenge and you would like information on quitting smoking, our Facebook page (in French) (facebook.com/defitabac) and the Quit to Win! Challenge website (Quitchallenge.ca)—which includes a forum, the Wall of Tips, and the Challenge Album—are available free of charge year-round.

We'll see you again in January 2014!

About the Quit to Win! Challenge
The Quit to Win! Challenge is a campaign that provides support to smokers who want to quit. Since its creation in 2000, over 360,000 participants of all ages have taken up the challenge.

The Quit to Win! Challenge is an ACTI-MENU initiative made possible through the support of several public and private organizations, specifically Quebec's ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and the Directions de santé publique des Agences de la santé et des services sociaux du Québec, the Canadian Cancer Society, Jean Coutu and Novartis. For more information, visit quitchallenge.ca.

About ACTI‐MENU
ACTI‐MENU is a social enterprise owned by foundations associated with the Montreal Heart Institute, the Centre ÉPIC, and the Hôpital Maisonneuve‐Rosemont. Its mission is to help individuals take an active role in their health. Founded in 1988, ACTI-MENU is dedicated exclusively to promoting health and healthy lifestyles, as well as the prevention and management of chronic illnesses.

ACTI-MENU is behind well-known campaigns such as the 5/30 Health and Wellness Challenge, the Quit to Win! Challenge, and Smoke‐Free Family that are geared toward the general public, municipalities, and families.  ACTI-MENU also implements health-promotion programs in the workplace and produces publications and other patient information tools for the clinical setting. For more information, visit actimenu.ca.

SOURCE: ACTI-MENU

For further information:

Marie Huot
Media Relations and Social Media Advisor
ACTI‐MENU
Tel.: 514 985‐2466, ext. 255
mhuot@actimenu.ca

André Beaulieu communication
Tel.: 514 393‐3444
Cell.: 514 217‐8327
andre@abcommunication.ca

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