Make this spring your time to break with smoking.

Make this spring your time to break with smoking.

Quit for 24 hours and win cash prizes

Many view spring as a time of renewal and an opportunity to make plans for personal growth. For some, this includes getting healthier by quitting smoking, says the BC Lung Association.

“We want to encourage people who are thinking about stopping smoking to take advantage of QuitNow’s monthly quit and win contest. It might be the nudge some people need to turn their quit smoking plans into action,” said Kathy Wylie, volunteer director for the BC Lung Association for Vernon.

Held on the first Tuesday of every month, the Tobacco-Free Tuesdays contest provides aspiring quitters the incentive to quit smoking for 24 hours for their chance to win $250 cash – about the equivalent a pack-a-day smoker will save after a month of being smoke-free.

The next Tobacco Free Tuesday contest is March 6. Visit TobaccoFreeTuesday.com before midnight on Monday, March 5 to enter. The contest is open to all British Columbians 19 years or older who are current smokers as well as those who have recently quit within the last three months.

Over the years, the contest has helped many British Columbians to practise quitting and to stay quit.

Murray Park, a former smoker, can attest to the challenges of becoming smoke-free. He smoked a pack a day for 20 years, and quit for as long as two years before relapsing.

“I started again, because I thought I was able to have just a couple on holidays — bad idea,” he said.

Park quit for good a couple of year ago, using QuitNow’s Tobacco Free Tuesday contest for extra motivation. For Park, learning from that first relapse helps him stay smoke-free.

“When I feel like I may fall off the wagon, I make sure to remember how horrible that first week of not smoking is,” he said.

Research has shown that it takes most smokers multiple attempts to stop smoking for good, because of the addictiveness of nicotine.

If you, or someone you know, could use support to help quit smoking this spring, QuitNow’s free resources are available to all B.C. residents over 19 years of age:

· Sign up for our next Tobacco Free Tuesday quit and win contest taking place March 6.

· Talk to a Quit Coach by phone. Call 1-877-455-2233 toll-free.

· Chat with a Quit Coach on the QuitNow website using live chat.

· Just thinking about quitting? Sign up for a text program for help planning your quit by textingQUITNOW to 654321.

QuitNow also encourages those thinking about quitting to speak with their local pharmacist about nicotine replacement therapy (the patch, gum, lozenges and inhaler) or to their doctor about prescription quit medication to help cope with cigarette cravings. PharmaCare provides free nicotine replacement therapy and subsidized quit medications to eligible British Columbians. Learn more about the PharmaCare BC Smoking Cessation Program.

QuitNow is the free, province-wide resource for quit smoking coaching and support funded by the Province of British Columbia and delivered by the BC Lung Association.