Muhammad Umar Amjad, Grace Bottah and Tabitha MannMuhammad Umar Amjad, Grace Bottah and Tabitha Mann celebrate their wins in the Leave the Pack Behind contest.

Students celebrate sweet taste of going smoke-free

Coming to Windsor meant a new life for Muhammad Umar Amjad, and in this new life, he doesn’t smoke.

“I wanted to quit, but I was addicted,” said the native of Pakistan, who moved to Canada in December to begin studies in the Master of Management program. “The change of country helped me a lot.”

The Leave the Pack Behind program provided the incentive he needed to give up tobacco, Amjad said Wednesday as he collected a $500 voucher toward his tuition. He won the prize in a draw for students who quit smoking.

“This is a great reward, but the best thing is that I have quit,” he said. “I am done with smoking.”

The contest offered tuition vouchers, provided by the Office of the President, in several categories. Tabitha Mann won $200 for reducing her cigarette consumption by half, Grace Bottah won $200 for breaking the connection between tobacco and alcohol, and Patricia Alsalom won $100 in a category for non-smokers who stay tobacco-free.

While the contest is a great way to draw attention to the issue, Student Health Services provides a variety of supports to combat tobacco addiction, says health promotion nurse Judi Wilson.

“It takes time and planning to quit smoking,” she says. “We have information, strategies, and free nicotine replacements that can help.”

Wilson invites students to visit her office, room 240, CAW Student Centre, or phone 519-253-3000, ext. 3260.