Satisfying a New Year’s Resolution: Look to Leave the Pack Behind for Incentives


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LTPB in the Brock Press

By Danielle Matheusik

We all break them just as quickly as we make them. The haunting
New Year’s resolutions never cease to cause their creators
endless grief upon their collapse. But it isn’t too late
to start thinking about giving yourself a second chance, especially
when it comes to quitting smoking.

“It is very difficult for people to quit,” says Julie
Wilson, Brock University’s Leave the Pack Behind (LTPB) Campus
Program Coordinator. “You have to try a number of times before
you are successful because with each attempt, you learn what your
(smoking) triggers are and how to deal with them.”

Leave the Pack Behind, a smoking awareness group based on Brock
University’s campus, is holding its third annual Let’s
Make a Deal! contest to encourage people to quit smoking, reduce
their cigarette intake or remain smoke-free. One contestant from
the Quit For Good! category will win $500, donated by the Office
of the Associate Vice-President Student Services, if he or she
is able to quit smoking for eight weeks. The other three categories,
Keep The Count!, Party Without The Pack!, and Don’t Start
And Win!, also have three designated smaller prizes for each group,
and their contest duration is four weeks in length.

“The contest is a great incentive to quit,” says Stefanie
Meaney, Brock’s LTPB Media Team Leader. She adds that it
coincides with this year’s National Non-Smoking Week which
takes place from January 19-23.

The best part about the contest, besides the prizes, is the support
which is available to those trying to quit. Each contestant in
the Quit For Good! category receives a Quit booklet, a LTPB brochure,
a Smoker’s Helpline card and a Survival Kit. The other categories
receive similar support devices to ensure their success in the

Contrary to what one might think, the use of quitting aids such
as the patch, gum or Zyban is allowed. The staff at Student Health
Services will be able to assist those who are experiencing nicotine
withdrawal symptoms. LTPB staff will also be available to offer
encouragement and advice as contest participants work towards
quitting or reducing their smoking.

“Peer support staff will support all the way,” says
Meaney. “Everyone is motivated and no one is left on their

To enter in the Quit For Good! deal, contestants must be regular
smokers who intend to quit smoking entirely. The Keep The Count!
category requires smoking participants to reduce their cigarette
consumption by 50%. In the Party Without The Pack! deal, individuals
break the alcohol-tobacco pairing, meaning that if the participant
parties with alcohol, he or she is not allowed to light up. The
final category, Don’t Start And Win!, is open to all non-smokers
who promise to remain smoke-free throughout the duration of the
contest. Sign-up for the contest will take place January 14, 15
and 16 in Thistle Corridor from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day.
More information is available at

A number of devices are used to ensure the honesty of the participants.
‘Witnesses’ and ‘Buddies’ keep track of the
participants’ commitment through a weekly log sheet. LTPB
staff also use a carbon monoxide (CO) tester. It measures the
amount of CO in the individual’s lungs and it is used before
and after the contest, and randomly throughout.

A cotinine test is also used, says Melodie Shick-Porter the Director
of Clinical Services at Brock, but only for the Quit For Good!
contestants and, she adds, we test only for nicotine. Nothing

To mark the ending of the contest, LTPB will be hosting The Big
Event at Isaac’s, Brock’s campus bar. It will showcase
the many diverse talents of the university’s student body
as various performers take to the stage starting at 7 p.m. on
January 24. The entrance fee will be one dollar prior to 8 p.m.
and two dollars afterwards.
The Big Event was designated as a smoke-free evening at Isaac’s
last year. This year, however, because of the new by-law which
banned smoking from public places as of May 31, 2003, Isaac’s
has been smoke-free the entire year.
“Brock is making steps in the right direction,” says
Wilson in regards to Isaac’s smoke-free policy. “The
Big Event is a good time to display Brock talent and to celebrate
the end of the contest.”

“Last year,” says Shick-Porter, “the fact that
it was held as a non-smoking event in a smoking pub did not seem
to influence the attendance in terms of how many students attended.
They came because it was fun.”



Satisfying a New Year’s Resolution: Look to Leave the Pack Behind for Incentives
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