Thunder Bay grand prize winner drives to tobacco-free life

28 April 2014

TORONTO -

Grand Prize winner Ralph BaxterTwo Thunder Bay residents are winners after staying smoke-free for the month of March, with the support of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline.

Ralph Baxter is the Grand Prize winner and Kasey Patola is a regional winner in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Driven to Quit Challenge, presented by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., the makers of NICODERM® and NICORETTE®.

Ralph, 45, was awarded his prize — a Dodge Journey —at a prize presentation today at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay.

“Winning a new car is fantastic but my real prize is that I succeeded in not smoking for one month,” says Ralph, who started smoking at age 11. “I’m proud of this achievement and it gives me the motivation to keep going and stay tobacco-free.”

The evidence supports Ralph and the more than 11,300 others who participated in the Challenge this year. Research demonstrates that, if smokers can stop for one month, they are five times more likely to be able to remain smoke-free for good.

Ralph was inspired to take the Driven to Quit Challenge because he lost his brother to cancer seven years ago. He thought about his children and grandchildren and decided to take the challenge because he was concerned about his own health.

“Think of your loved ones,” he advises anyone thinking about quitting smoking.

Seven regional winners, including Kasey, were also each awarded $1,000 each for completing the Driven to Quit Challenge.

The Driven to Quit Challenge is a health promotion campaign that encourages Ontario adults who are daily tobacco users to take on the challenge of quitting smoking with the support of a “buddy” for the chance to win a car and other prizes. Winners are required to quit smoking for the month of March and verify their tobacco-free status to be eligible for their prizes. Since 2006, the Driven to Quit Challenge has inspired more than 213,000 Ontarians to make a quit attempt.

“Many people want to quit smoking but need the support we provide through our Smokers’ Helpline and some benefit from the extra incentive of a prize to take that important step forward,” says John Atkinson, Director, Tobacco Control and Cancer Prevention, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “We congratulate all those who participated in this year’s Driven to Quit Challenge and hope you continue on the path to tobacco-free health.”

“Congratulations to everyone who took an important step in improving their health and wellness by participating in the Challenge,” says Shelley Kohut, Director, Communications, Public Relations. “McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., makers of NICODERM® and NICORETTE® Nicotine Replacement products has been a proud sponsor of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Driven to Quit Challenge since 2006. We are committed to providing smokers with clinically proven, safe and effective nicotine replacement products in a broad choice of formats to support each individual’s personal journey to becoming tobacco and nicotine free.”

About the Driven to Quit Challenge

The Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division’s Driven to Quit Challenge, presented by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., makers of NICODERM® and NICORETTE®, is a health promotion campaign that is intended to motivate adult Ontario tobacco users to quit smoking or other forms of tobacco for one month with the help of a support “buddy” for their chance to win a grand prize of a car. Participants are encouraged to access Smokers’ Helpline and Smokers’ Helpline Online for cessation support. To claim a prize, selected winners must demonstrate that they have remained tobacco-free for the month of March 2014.

About Canadian Cancer Society Smokers’ Helpline

Smokers’ Helpline is a free, confidential service that provides personalized support, advice and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. Operated by the Canadian Cancer Society and funded by the Government of Ontario, Smokers’ Helpline has three ways to help Ontarians quit: phone support, online program and text messaging at 1-877-513-5333 and SmokersHelpline.ca.  

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026