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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Wednesday, August 23, 2017  | 10:00 a.m. | Windsor-Essex County

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is encouraging tobacco users to make a quit attempt this September, the second most popular month for quit attempts next to January.  September is the second “New Year’s," a time of fresh starts for kids and for parents. Canadian Cancer Society’s First Week Challenge Contest is challenging regular tobacco users to quit for the first 7 days of the month. Eligible participants are offered a $500 cash prize and provided support from the Smokers’ Helpline to make their quit attempt stick.

Quitting is one of the biggest challenges a smoker will face. The cravings and withdrawal symptoms are toughest during the first week, but once a smoker makes it through that week smoke-free, they are 9 times more likely to be successful. Recent statistics show that 3 out of 5 current smokers intend to quit in the next 6 months.

“Many people want to quit smoking but need the type of support provided through Smokers’ Helpline. The prize is really about getting them to take that important first step,” says Zoë Siskos, Sr. Coordinator at Smokers’ Helpline. "Many people have to quit and quit again, so having a monthly challenge means that they can keep entering until they have quit smoking for good.” 

Quitting smoking can be difficult but it is the best thing you can do for your health. As soon as you stop smoking, your health risks decrease and you start to feel better. Within 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse return to normal, and within 24 hours, breathing gets easier and your risk of heart attack starts to drop.

Most smokers will have to try several times before they can quit for good. Quitting smoking is more of a journey, not a one-time event. Every attempt brings a smoker closer to the goal of a tobacco-free life. This is why the First Week Challenge is offered every month, or 12 times per year. Eligible contestants are encouraged to re-enter each month until they reach their goal.

Register by August 31 at www.FirstWeekChallengeContest.ca or by calling Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333.

Media Contact: 
Communications Department
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)
news@wechu.org

Zoë Siskos
Sr. Coordinator, Partnerships and Promotion
Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline
905-387-4322 ext. 5627
ZSiskos@ONTARIO.CANCER.CA
1550 Upper James St., Suite 300
Hamilton, Ontario  L9B 2L6

More Support to Help You Quit 

For local cessation services and supports, visit www.wechu.org/tobacco or contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-2146 ext. 3100

About Canadian Cancer Society Smokers’ Helpline
Smokers’ Helpline is a free, confidential service that provides personalized support, advice and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. Operated by the Canadian Cancer Society and funded by the Government of Ontario, Smokers’ Helpline has three ways to help Ontarians quit: phone support, online program and text messaging at 1-877-513-5333 and SmokersHelpline.ca.