'Quit 2 Win' stop smoking contest launched

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

For the second straight year, the local tobacco control coalition for Putnam County is teaming up with state health officials to sponsor a statewide stop smoking contest known as Quit 2 Win.

For people who smoke, there has never been a better time to quit -- the contest will offer cash prizes totaling $5,000, including a top prize of $2,500.

Once the winner is determined, prizes will be awarded later this fall.

The sign up locally for the contest, people can visit the Putnam County Hospital, Putnam County Library or Greencastle City Hall.

The contest comes at an important time, as cigarette consumption in the state of Indiana is down significantly.

In July 2007, a law was passed raising Indiana's tobacco tax 44 cents from 55 1/2 cents to 99 1/2 cents. Since that time, cigarette consumption in Indiana has dropped by 17.8 percent. This progress is important, especially in light of the fact that the tobacco industry spends $425 million each year to promote its products in Indiana. It demonstrates that the money Indiana is spending in helping people quit smoking is having a positive impact.

"There has never been a better time to quit," said Meredith Williams, program director for Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation. "Our local coalition is ready to help every Hoosier in our county who wants to quit be successful."

In order to enter the contest, individuals must be at least 18 years of age and pledge to stop using tobacco between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. All Quit 2 Win entries must be received by Sept. 1. A winner will be drawn at random, and that winner will be tested to make sure they are tobacco-free. Cash prizes of $1,500 and $1,000 will be awarded to the second- and third-place finishers.

To enter online, visit the INShape Indiana Web site at www.inshape.IN.gov and click on the Quit 2 Win icon.

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