February 2, 2011
Media Release

It’s a great time to gear up and quit smoking

York Region residents can register for the annual Driven to Quit Challenge now
NEWMARKET - The Regional Municipality of York encourages residents who want to quit smoking to participate in the annual Driven to Quit Challenge for a chance to win some great prizes and improve their health all at the same time!
The Driven to Quit Challenge is a provincial health promotion campaign that encourages Ontario adult smokers and tobacco users 19 and older to quit smoking for the month of March.  This campaign is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society-Ontario Division. 
Successful participants are eligible to win incredible prizes, such as a 2011 hybrid vehicle and $25,000 in other prizes.
An Angus Reid Public Opinion survey held in December 2010 found that six per cent of Ontario adults are currently trying to quit tobacco use.  Quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to improve your health and it is never too late to quit. 
Benefits of quitting smoking start immediately and are long lasting:
• Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, blood pressure may drop to normal level
• After 24 hours, the risk for a heart attack is reduced
• After a year, the risk for a heart of attack is reduced by half
• After 15 years, the risk of heart disease is similar to that of persons who have never smoked
The Smokers’ Helpline is available to support smokers trying to quit at 1-877-513-5333 or www.smokershelpline.ca
For more information and to register for the Driven to Quit Challenge visit www.driventoquit.ca 
The registration period runs until Monday, February 28, 2011.
For more information on the Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca

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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905-830-4444 Ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell: 905-716-9753
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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