THUNDER BAY – Quitting smoking, or drinking often top the list of New Year resolutions for many people. Of current and past tobacco users in Ontario, 47 per cent have made a New Year’s resolution to quit in previous years, according to results of a survey¹ conducted in November. In time to kick off 2012, The Driven to Quit Challenge launches today, inviting Ontario tobacco users to break their addiction for the chance to win a new car, a dream vacation or cash.
The Challenge, funded annually by the Government of Ontario, is open to Ontarians aged 19 and over who used tobacco at least 10 months in 2011. Those who stay smoke-free for the month of March can win their choice of a new Ford Fusion hybrid or Ford Edge. Other prizes include two $5,000 CAA travel vouchers and seven prizes of $2,000 cash.
Nearly two thirds of respondents who make New Year’s resolutions, or 62 per cent, believe it is important to have a support system in place when achieving a New Year’s resolution. For those pledging to quit smoking this year, The Driven to Quit Challenge requires entrants to sign up with a support buddy, who stands to win $200 cash.
“Fifteen per cent of people in Ontario smoke, and tobacco use accounts for 30 per cent of all cancer cases,” says Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “Today, Ontarians have extra motivation to make an attempt to quit smoking. And, the Canadian Cancer Society can provide the support they need to do so.”
“Our government is committed to helping break the cycle of tobacco addiction. Every attempt to quit is a vital part of this process, and with the right resources and motivation, Ontarians have a better chance of success. That is why we support initiatives such as The Driven to Quit Challenge that encourage smokers to improve their health by quitting,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
The survey also revealed some interesting facts with respect to smoking and smoking cessation along gender and education lines:
- Females have been much more likely to make a resolution to quit tobacco, with 56 per cent having made a resolution in the past, compared to 44 per cent of men
- Women (65 per cent) are also slightly more inclined to feel that a support system is important when making resolutions, compared to men (59 per cent)
- 39 per cent of people with a university education are current or past tobacco users, compared with 60 per cent of those with high school or college education
To register and for details about The Driven to Quit Challenge, Ontarians can go to www.DrivenToQuit.ca or call the Canadian Cancer Society Smokers’ Helpline at 1 877 513-5333. Registration is open until February 29, 2012.