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Local coalition encourages Hoosiers to stop using tobacco

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This summer, the local tobacco control coalition for Putnam County is promoting a statewide stop smoking contest known as "Quit Now Indiana." This year's theme seeks to encourage tobacco users to "train" for their next quit attempt.

"Quitting tobacco takes planning. Setting up a training plan to drink plenty of water, exercise, and eat healthy, are all tips to have a successful attempt to quit smoking," says Alia Hazel, director of the Putnam County Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Program. "Also consult your quit coach at the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW for training tips that meet your needs."

The statewide contest is designed to encourage Hoosiers using tobacco products to make an attempt to quit now by offering them a chance to win cash prizes up to $2,500 for remaining tobacco-free for 31 days. The promotional contest is part of a larger statewide campaign known as Quit Now Indiana, linking tobacco users to cessation resources. To be eligible to win, contestants must be 18-years-or-older, a legal resident of Indiana, a current tobacco user and stay tobacco free from Oct. 1-31.

The registration period is now until Sept. 30. Contest winners will be drawn at random and will be tested to make sure they are tobacco-free to be eligible to claim a prize(s).

The 2012 contest is supported by St. Vincent Health and MDWise Hoosier Alliance. Last year's contest received more than 4,500 entries representing every county in Indiana.

The contest comes at an important time, as there are fewer places to smoke with the new statewide smoke free air law in Indiana. Hoosier tobacco users can get free help in quitting from the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Eligible tobacco users can receive two weeks of FREE nicotine gum or patches to help the quit process get started.

"There has never been a better time to quit," said Hazel. "Our local coalition is ready to help every Hoosier in our county who wants to quit, be successful."

Local coalitions have been educating employers about the new state smoke free air law. The contest provides employers with a fun way to help their employees quit. The Quit Now Preferred Employer Network currently consists of more than 800 employers in Indiana committed to helping their employees quit tobacco use. Last year with the participation of the Preferred Network employers, the campaign reached more than 150 worksites with this great incentive to quit tobacco.

Employers interested in participating in the Preferred Employer Network can request contest materials at QuitNowIndiana.com or for additional information, call (812) 232-5190.

Eligible Hoosiers can register online at QuitNowIndiana.com and INShapeIndiana.org. To learn more about the resources available to quit smoking today, visit the Quit Now Indiana website at QuitNowIndiana.com or call (812) 232-5190.



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