Quit to Win anti-smoking campaign kicks off 20th Quebec edition in 2019

The Quit to Win Challenge, a support campaign for smokers who want to quit their habit, is back in 2019 and marking its 20th year in Quebec.

Participants in the challenge pledge not to smoke for the six weeks between Feb. 4 and March 17.

Capsana, the organization that launched the campaign in 2000 with the Montreal Heart Institute and the PSI Foundation, estimates that six weeks without consuming tobacco is a realistic and significant goal since the time period increases the chances of quitting for good by sixfold.

Statistics compiled since 2000 indicate that, on average, 75 per cent of participants in the challenge succeeded in not smoking for the entire six weeks.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann notes that while the province has 1.3 million smokers, 60 per cent of them would like to quit, adding that more than 450,000 Quebecers have participated in the challenge since 2000.

Registration for the challenge can be made at defitabac.ca.

Participants will have access to support tools to help them on their way to quitting, including a personal online file, support emails, a Facebook community support group as well as the 1-866-JARRETE helpline.

Family doctor and campaign spokesperson Christiane Laberge notes that quitting smoking is tough and can often require several attempts.

This year the campaign is targeting young adults aged 18-24, a demographic that counts a high percentage of smokers, focusing on the message that smoking costs money and does little for one’s looks. Participants also have a chance at winning a $1000 scholarship.