Ontario young adults challenged to quit before they're 30 in the wouldurather… contest

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - 'The earlier you can quit, the greater the health benefits' is the conclusion offered by the authors of recent scientific research that shows the greatest benefit to health is seen among smokers who quit before the age of 30.

Young adults in Ontario are being challenged to do just that for a chance to win $2,500 in the wouldurather… contest hosted by Leave The Pack Behind in partnership with Public Health Units and Campus Health Centres across the province.

More young adults than teens or older adults use tobacco, with the most recent Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey by Health Canada reporting that 18 per cent of young adult Ontarians are current smokers. The wouldurather... contest is an effective way of encouraging young adults to stop using tobacco. Recent empirical research shows that about 20 per cent of young adults who participate in the wouldurather… contest successfully quit smoking and stay smoke-free. Without the motivation and support of the contest, about 5 per cent would do so.

This contest is uniquely tailored to young adults who smoke daily or socially. It offers smokers three different ways to change their smoking. They can quit smoking all together; they can cut their smoking in half; or they can refrain from smoking any time they are socializing and drinking alcohol. Non-smokers can also enter the contest by pledging to remain smoke-free. Besides the chance to win cash prizes, all contestants receive motivational emails and support from a buddy. They also have the option of receiving a free, eight-week supply of the nicotine patch or gum as part of the contest, an offer that is brand new to the contest this year.

"Smoking is a very difficult addiction to break, but it isn't something you have to fight alone," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "I encourage all young adult smokers to take advantage of the wouldurather… contest to get the help and motivation you need to quit."

To participate in the six-week long contest, Ontario post-secondary students or young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 can sign up at www.wouldurather.ca until January 26, 2014. Two $2,500 grand prizes are awarded to randomly-selected contestants who quit smoking all together. Other prizes include more cash, tuition waivers and gift cards to local retailers.

About Leave the Pack Behind

Leave The Pack Behind offers free, proven quit-smoking resources created specifically for young adults. Funded by the Government of Ontario with generous prize support provided by the makers of Thrive and Habitrol, the wouldurather... contest aims to motivate and encourage young adult Ontarians to live tobacco-free.

SOURCE: Leave The Pack Behind

For further information:

Lindsay Taylor
Assistant Manager of Leave The Pack Behind
905-688-5550 ext. 5144
Email: ltaylor2@brocku.ca.

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