A Conestoga College student won a provincial contest hosted by Leave The Pack Behind. Angela Stacey won the provincial prize of $250 in the category Don’t Start and Win.
The Would You Rather contest runs every year to spread awareness about smoking and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
There are four categories. Don’t Start and Win is for students who don’t smoke and plan on never smoking. Party Without The Smoke is for students who smoke socially and want to quit all together. Keep the Count is for students who smoke regularly but are not ready to quit. They are encouraged to cut back 50 per cent or more. Last but not least is Quit for Good.
Students in this category have the chance to win up to $2,500.
The contest runs for six weeks and is in its 10th year. To win the contest students had to do what they pledged they would do within their categories, then report back to the organization to have their names entered in a draw. Winners’ names were drawn randomly.
“We don’t want to be confused with anti-smoking. That’s not who we are or what we do. We encourage students to cut back, reduce or don’t start at all. That is kind of our message,” said Gillian Beaton, the Leave The Pack Behind campus program co-ordinator.
“If the time is not right for you, that is OK. When the time is right for you just know where you can go, and where these services exist. So that we can help and support you with anything you might need,” Beaton said.
As well as the cash prizes, the on-campus organization, Leave The Pack Behind, had Conestoga-specific prizes such as gift cards and tickets to see a Toronto Raptors game. All of the Conestoga prizes were donated, and had a total value of approximately $4,000.
Leave the Pack Behind was founded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Its head office is located in Brock University. The organization provides students with free access to nicotine patches and gum to help them quit smoking.
Students who want to try these products need to make an appointment with Health Services at the Doon campus.
For people who are not a student anymore, such as alumni or Kitchener residents, they can still access the free products as long as they are under the age of 29. People can go to www. leavethepackbehind.org to fill out the form and answer some basic health questions. If you don’t have any major health problems you can receive an eight weeks’ supply delivered to your home.
“That is more than enough for anyone to quit,” Beaton said.