National non-smoking REWARDS program announced for Canadian youth



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - National anti-smoking foundation
R.E.W.A.R.D.S. (Rewarding Everyone Who Acts Responsibly and Doesn't Smoke)
today announced a new national program aimed at curbing the rate of teenage
smoking in Canada.
    "This is a unique program in that it gives a tangible reward to young
people who agree to complete high school, while remaining smoke-free," says
R.E.W.A.R.D.S. program President Samy Bishay. "Our goal is to sign up to
100,000 young people in the program over the next few months."
    The program, which launches in conjunction with National Non-Smoking Week
(January 20-26) in Canada, targets smokers and non-smokers, grades five
through eight, offering them a $5,000 cash incentive to simply graduate high
school smoke-free.
    The R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Foundation aims to target not only youth who currently
smoke, but also those who don't, challenging them not to be tempted while in
school. Students must sign a R.E.W.A.R.D.S. contract, promising not to light
up throughout the duration of their high school years.
    The program directs students to enlist four sponsors who promise to
donate a small sum of money each month, under the students' name, to the
R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Foundation until they graduate. The sponsors get the
opportunity to support the student in their goal, while receiving charitable
tax receipts for their donations. During the program, the student has access
to a life skills program and other fun and educational incentives. Following
graduation, the successful smoke-free student receives their $5,000 grant,
which can be used for whatever they choose.
    "This program is designed to be fun and accessible," says Bishay. "In the
process, we hope to inspire teachers, program coordinators and principals to
get involved, supporting their students in their goal to graduate smoke-free."
    According to the Canadian Lung Association, quitting smoking is the
single best thing an individual can do to improve their health and their
overall quality of life.
    "It's never too late or too early to quit," says Bishay. "And with the
R.E.W.A.R.D.S. program we're not asking the student to brave their smoke-free
journey alone. It's as simple as finding four sponsors, making the commitment
not to light up, graduating and taking home $5,000 cash."
    For more information or to download a 500-word news story on the
R.E.W.A.R.D.S program, visit www.my5k.ca and click on News Article link at
bottom of web page.





For further information:

For further information: Reference: Samy Bishay, President,
R.E.W.A.R.D.S, 1-877-444-MY5K, sbishay@my5k.ca; Laura Ballance, Curve
Communications Group Ltd., (604) 771-5176 (cell), (604) 684-3170 ext. 1,
laura@curvecommunications.com

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R.E.W.A.R.D.S. FOUNDATION

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