Huron County, ON – Registration is open for Leave the Pack Behind’s annual wouldurather… contest. This year there are more than $10,000 worth of prizes to be won by Ontario young adults who join the six-week contest.
“We know that more young adults use tobacco than any other age group in Ontario” says Huron County Health Unit public health promoter Jacquie Uprichard. “This contest is specifically designed to help young adults quit or cut back and provide them the supports they may need to do so.”
In Ontario,19.4 per cent of young adults 19-29 currently smoke tobacco, with rates slightly higher in Southwestern Ontario at 20.4 per cent.
Uprichard says quitting smoking can be difficult, and not everyone is ready to quit right now. That’s why the wouldurather…contest offers four different categories to meet participants where they are at right now.
Adults who smoke can enter to quit, cut back by half, or commit to stay away from smoking anytime they party or drink alcohol.
Non-smokers and ex-smokers can also enter the contest in the “Don’t Start and Win” category.
Having the option to set more achievable goals helps contestants, like Ontario’s 2016 winner Teigan Sparks, work their way up to quitting.
“I tried in the past to quit smoking but it never seemed to work for me. Being involved in this contest motivated me to get started just cause I knew other people were doing the same thing. Once I was motivated to cut back on my smoking, at least when going out, I liked how I was feeling and decided to quit smoking entirely. Since then I’ve been smoke-free and I plan on staying that way.”
To support young adults to quit successfully, the wouldurather… contest offers support emails, the option to add a personal support crew, access to eight weeks of free nicotine patches or gum, and support calls or texts from Smokers Helpline.
Last year, more than 7,000 young adults entered the wouldurather… contest. Research suggests that up to 20% of individuals who enter the contest will quit smoking compared to the 5-7% success rate that can be expected when people quit on their own.
Wouldurather… is available to all young adults ages 18-29 who are residents of Ontario. Registration is open at wouldurather.ca until January 28, 2018 at 11:59 pm.
It can take several quit attempts before quitting smoking for good. The Health Unit wants to support people in making quit attempts. For more information on local quit smoking supports and services available, please contact the Huron County Health Unit at 519-482-3416 or toll free at 1-877-837-6143.