Lisa quit smoking and she has $500 to prove it!

Lisa Thompson (left) picks up her cheque for $500 for winning the First Week Challenge

Lisa Thompson said she had a plan this time around when it came to quitting smoking. Thomspon has been smoking most of her life and attempted to quit a few times before.

“I started back for different reasons, but I feel smoking is one of those things that holds you back, it’s one of those things you need to overcome.” Thompson said as she collected her winnings at the Canadian Cancer Society office on Monday afternoon.

The $500 prize is a reward for her participation in the Canadian Cancer Society’s First Week Challenge contest. A monthly initiative that encourages tobacco  users in Ontario to make a quit attempt for the first seven days of the month.

Thompson said she needed some licorice near by one her first day but after a while, she just didn’t think about it. “I will continue to feel great by not smoking by the best of my ability, I really don’t want to smoke again”

Quitting smoking is the single biggest challenge a smoker will face and the cravings and withdrawal symptoms will be the toughest during the first week. Once a smoker makes it through the first week smoke-free, they are nine times more likely to quit for good, according to a 1999 study on tobacco use.

“Many people want to quit smoking but need the type of support provided Smokers’ Helpline. The prize is really about getting them to take the important first steps” said Nicole McGaughey-Paparo, Senior Coordinator for Smokers’ Helpline in Northeastern Ontario. “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”

“Don’t quit quitting stay focused know your triggers have a plan set up so you can deal with your triggers and surround yourself with as much support you can” Thompson said.

If winning the cash is something that might lead you to quit smoking, people are encouraged to register for the First Week challenge. There, you will be connecting with the Canadian Cancer Society Smokers’ Helpline or call toll free 1-877-513-5333

The contest is held province-wide and Thompson is the first Sault Ste. Marie participant to win the monthly challenge grand prize.

Lisa Thompson with representatives from Algoma Public Health and the Canadian Cancer Society


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