September 29, 2020

BY KEILA MACPHERSON
Anyone who has tried to quit smoking, or has tried to help someone quit, knows how hard it can be and the results aren’t always what you hoped for.
To help, Conestoga College’s Health Services department is encouraging smokers to take part in a contest where they can win up to $1,000. All they have to do is quit for good.
The Would U Rather contest runs from Jan. 28 until March 11, and according to Leave The Pack Behind (LTPB) campus program co-ordinator Gillian Beaton, is so named to get students thinking about if they would rather smoke or have an opportunity to win cash prizes.
According to the LTPB campus program co-ordinator guide compiled by Brock University, about 22 per cent of young adults smoke.  Reasons for doing so include stress, boredom, rebellion and peer pressure.
Also according to the guide, eight per cent of smokers using LTPB services quit, whereas only three per cent of smokers will quit when unassisted.
Studies show that smoking is damaging to your health and is a cause of cancer.
That should be enough to want to quit; however, without a strong will it can be tough.
That’s where the contest comes in.
According to Beaton, the LTPB has student representatives at “almost all post-secondary campuses across Ontario,” and is funded by the Ministry of Long-Term Care and operates out of Brock University.
Any student at any post-secondary institution can register for the contest and will have a “buddy” to keep track of their smoking habits and show support.
There are four categories that students can enter: Quit For Good, Keep the Count, Party Without the Smoke and Don’t Start and Win.
Winners will be drawn randomly, but the Quit For Good winner will have to pass a urine test to win the $1,000 grand prize.
“This contest is trying to encourage students to quit smoking and/or stay smoke free and raise awareness of the services LTPB offers students,” Beaton said.
Although LTPB tries to help students quit, the program is not anti-smoking.
“We are here to provide students with the resources and support they need in order to make their quitting attempts successful, not (to) preach about the dangers and consequences of smoking,” said Beaton.
The Health Services department at Conestoga will provide Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs), such as the patch or nicotine gum, to those seeking help.
“If students are not ready to quit right now, we think it is still important for them to know that they can come to us for support, resources, and to get free NRTs if in the future they decide it is time for them to quit,” Beaton said.
For more information on the contest, and to register by the Jan. 27 deadline, visit www.leavethepackbehind.org, and for more information about NRTs visit Room 1A102, located near the Lower Atrium at Doon campus.
Students can also like the LTPB Facebook page for information on upcoming contests and events.BY KEILA MACPHERSON
Anyone who has tried to quit smoking, or has tried to help someone quit, knows how hard it can be and the results aren’t always what you hoped for.
To help, Conestoga College’s Health Services department is encouraging smokers to take part in a contest where they can win up to $1,000. All they have to do is quit for good.
The Would U Rather contest runs from Jan. 28 until March 11, and according to Leave The Pack Behind (LTPB) campus program co-ordinator Gillian Beaton, is so named to get students thinking about if they would rather smoke or have an opportunity to win cash prizes.
According to the LTPB campus program co-ordinator guide compiled by Brock University, about 22 per cent of young adults smoke.  Reasons for doing so include stress, boredom, rebellion and peer pressure.
Also according to the guide, eight per cent of smokers using LTPB services quit, whereas only three per cent of smokers will quit when unassisted.
Studies show that smoking is damaging to your health and is a cause of cancer.
That should be enough to want to quit; however, without a strong will it can be tough.
That’s where the contest comes in.
According to Beaton, the LTPB has student representatives at “almost all post-secondary campuses across Ontario,” and is funded by the Ministry of Long-Term Care and operates out of Brock University.
Any student at any post-secondary institution can register for the contest and will have a “buddy” to keep track of their smoking habits and show support.
There are four categories that students can enter: Quit For Good, Keep the Count, Party Without the Smoke and Don’t Start and Win.
Winners will be drawn randomly, but the Quit For Good winner will have to pass a urine test to win the $1,000 grand prize.
“This contest is trying to encourage students to quit smoking and/or stay smoke free and raise awareness of the services LTPB offers students,” Beaton said.
Although LTPB tries to help students quit, the program is not anti-smoking.
“We are here to provide students with the resources and support they need in order to make their quitting attempts successful, not (to) preach about the dangers and consequences of smoking,” said Beaton.
The Health Services department at Conestoga will provide Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs), such as the patch or nicotine gum, to those seeking help.
“If students are not ready to quit right now, we think it is still important for them to know that they can come to us for support, resources, and to get free NRTs if in the future they decide it is time for them to quit,” Beaton said.
For more information on the contest, and to register by the Jan. 27 deadline, visit www.leavethepackbehind.org, and for more information about NRTs visit Room 1A102, located near the Lower Atrium at Doon campus.
Students can also like the LTPB Facebook page for information on upcoming contests and events.