2012 Winners’ Stories
From left to right: Kristine Houde (UOHS Health Promotion Manager), Crysana Copeland (LTPB), Dominique Menard (LTPB), Francesco De Rose (LTPB), Kim Sommers (WUR Contest Winner), Madeline Dignan (LTPB Team Leader), Phil Jansson (LTPB), Dan Julien, NP (Health Services Smoking Cessation Program)
After 5 years of smoking, I was sick of wasting my money ($2,000 per year) and having trouble doing activities that used to be easy like walking up stairs. The wouldurather… contest gave me the motivation that I needed to quit for good, and the encouragement I received from my best friend helped me stick with it. Now, I use exercise for stress release and am more active than I have been in years. I remind myself daily that even if I’m tempted, smoking is just not worth it!
Kim Sommers, University of Ottawa, Grand-prize winner of $1000
Michelle Withers (WUR Contest Winner)
I have been a smoker for 5 years. I used to smoke a pack per day and I have tried to quit numerous times using a variety of methods and have not been successful. To get me started on cutting down I stopped buying packs so that I could only smoke if I was around other smokers. This helped me realize how much money I was spending and that was a HUGE eye opener for me. I told my family and friends that I was cutting back so that they understood not to invite me outside for a cigarette. The first few days were rough, smoking was how I dealt with stress and without it I was becoming quite irritable. So I found other things to do (take a walk, drink water, chew gum) that helped me to relax and take my mind off wanting a cigarette. By the end of 2 weeks I was down to 2 or 3 smokes per day and it felt great! Through the support of my buddy, my family and LTPB I am well on my way to becoming smoke free. I am proud to say that some days I can go without smoking at all, and someday soon I will kick the disgusting habit altogether! Thank you to my support system and LTPB, I am forever grateful!
Michelle Withers, Sault College, Grand-prize winner of $500
Front row (L to R): LTPB Communication Team Members (York University)
Back row (L to R): Ashleigh Uriasz (LTPB Campus Program Coordinator, York University), Danielle Tremblay (WUR Contest Winner), and LTPB Communication Team Members (York University)
I first learned about Leave The Pack Behind in my first year at university. Before that I considered myself a “social smoker” as I would only smoke if I was out with my friends at a party. My first year I was motivated to sign up when I saw a poster at school and decided it would be a fun way to stop smoking for a short time while having the potential to earn money. I went almost the whole time without smoking with only one or two slips near the end, and found that I felt better with my smoking habits. However, over the summer and into my second year I found myself smoking in social situations again. I noticed another poster and received an e-mail from LTPB which motivated me to sign up and try again. I am prouder than ever to say that this year I succeeded. The large amount of social support, and that many of my friends joined me so that we could help each other stay smoke free helped me succeed. Going to new places to party and meeting new people helped keep me distracted and further drove my success this year. I think this contest is a great way for students to make a great goal for the new year and the fact that you can win money for it just adds to the motivation. I hope that everyone has been successful this year and if not, don’t be afraid to try again.
Danielle Tremblay, York University, Grand-prize winner of $250
From left to right: Melodie Shick-Porter (Director Student Health Services Brock University), Nicole Callaghan (WUR Contest Winner), and Erin Atkinson (Campus Program Co-ordinator, Leave The Pack Behind, Brock University)
My experience in the wouldurather… contest was exciting! I haven’t smoked a day in my life and I don’t plan on it. I wanted to show that it is possible for people not to give into peer pressure, to stay strong. Smoking is a social event, but I don’t see it that way. I’m around people all the time, smokers and non-smokers, and I’m still very social. In order to stay smoke free you need to be strong in who you are, be persistent and don’t lose confidence. Being smoke free makes me proud to say “I don’t smoke” or “I have never smoked a day in my life”.
This contest was fun – you get to prove something and win a little extra cash.
Nicole Callaghan, Brock University, Grand-prize winner of $100
We thank Pfizer Canada for their generous support of our contest.