Ontario woman quits smoking after 27 years, wins a new hybrid vehicle

Canadian Cancer Society awards prizes to 11 tobacco-free winners

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - Lisa McGee of Carp, Ontario, drove away in a new Ford Escape hybrid today after winning the grand prize in the 2010 Driven to Quit Challenge. McGee, along with 10 other winners, were recognized this morning by Rick Perciante, Acting CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division, and the Honourable Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion, at an official prize presentation in Toronto.

In its fifth year, The Driven to Quit Challenge is a health promotion campaign that encourages Ontario tobacco users to make a quit attempt with the support of a "buddy" for their chance to win. Since 2006, The Driven to Quit Challenge has inspired more than 130,000 registrants to make a quit attempt.

Along with the grand prize, two lucky winners will be packing their bags as they head out on $5,000 vacation getaways, seven winners will be shopping for something special with $2,000 MasterCard gift cards and one winner with a $1,000 card. Winners of these prizes and the vehicle were required to verify that they had not used tobacco at all during the month of March 2010. All winners plan to stay tobacco-free for life. Eleven support buddies were acknowledged for their tremendous support, each taking home a $200 MasterCard gift card.

"We often hear from Driven to Quit Challenge entrants that their true prize is becoming smoke-free," said Rick Perciante, Acting CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "We know that 30 per cent of cancers are caused by tobacco use. I would like to personally congratulate each of the 28,835 Ontarians who took The Challenge this year and commend them on their step toward a healthier lifestyle."

"It sounds cliché, but this is really my second prize. The first win was knowing I had a tough habit beat," said McGee upon learning she won the grand prize. "The Driven to Quit Challenge provided the incentive I needed to make it all happen and winning the Escape hybrid has been the icing on the cake."

All participants in The Challenge are encouraged to get support to help them stay smoke-free by connecting with the Canadian Cancer Society Smokers' Helpline, toll-free, at 1 877 513-5333 and www.smokershelpline.ca.

"On behalf of the McGuinty government, I am pleased to congratulate today's winners and everyone who participated in the 2010 Driven to Quit Challenge. Today's winners have demonstrated that education, support and incentives are important tools in successful 'quit' efforts. I am pleased that the McGuinty government is committed to supporting Ontarians in their journey towards a healthy, smoke-free life through the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy," said Ontario's Health Promotion Minister, Margarett Best.

The Driven to Quit Challenge is hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and generous prize support from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. The Driven to Quit Challenge is presented in collaboration with local public health departments across the province. The public can view a full list of winners at driventoquit.ca.

About the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division

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.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

For further information: For further information: about The Driven to Quit Challenge and to speak with a Canadian Cancer Society spokesperson, please contact: Patrick Erlich, Media Profile, Office: (416) 342-1835, Mobile: (416) 318-3821, patrick.erlich@mediaprofile.com; To speak with a spokesperson from the Ministry of Health Promotion, please contact: Wendy Vincent, Communications Advisor, Ministry of Health Promotion, Office of the Minister, Office: (416) 326-8497, wendy.vincent@ontario.ca

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