Anti-tobacco contest targets student smokers

Working as the campus coordinator of Leave the Pack Behind is a rewarding job, says Samantha Leahy.

“You can see the difference you make,” says the fourth-year student of behaviour, cognition and neuroscience, who has been heading up a team of volunteers to run the smoking cessation program. “I just enjoy doing it.”

Leahy’s team has begun registering entrants for the wouldurather contest, which discourages tobacco use and is open to student smokers and non-smokers alike. Volunteers will staff a booth in the CAW Student Centre each day this week between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and next week in the residence halls, the Toldo Health Education Centre and the Odette Building.

Contestants who meet the challenge through March 11 are eligible for a draw to win certificates toward their 2013/14 tuition in several categories:

  • Quit for Good: $500 for quitting smoking entirely
  • Keep the Count: $200 for cutting cigarette consumption in half
  • Party Without the Pack: $200 for remaining smoke-free while consuming alcohol
  • Don’t Start and Win: $100 for non-smokers who stay tobacco-free

The University of Windsor Students’ Alliance has also donated an iPad mini tablet computer as a prize open to all contestants. Registration continues through Sunday, January 27.

“We want to provide as much support as possible to quit smoking,” Leahy says.

The campaign has been distributing info packs that include literature on the health effects of smoking, tips on strategies to quit, a pen, gum, and fridge magnets bearing motivational slogans.

Student Health Services has received funding from the Ministry of Health to provide free nicotine replacement therapy to its student clientele; both nicotine gum and patches are available.

Find more information, including details of the Leave the Pack Behind contest, on the campaign website. Registration continues through Sunday, January 27.

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