BC has the lowest smoking rate in Canada — 14.3 per cent. However, the BC Lung Association believes we can do better, and is calling on the 500,000 British Columbians who continue to smoke to quit for 24 hours by signing up for the Tobacco-Free Tuesday challenge on June 7.
Held on the first Tuesday of every month, Tobacco-Free Tuesdays provides aspiring quitters the challenge and incentive to quit smoking for 24 hours for their chance to win $250 cash — about the equivalent a pack-a-day smoker will save a month by quitting. The challenge is open to all British Columbians who are current or recently-quit smokers and 19 or older.
“The biggest hurdle for many smokers is getting started,” says Michael Jessen, BC Lung Association volunteer director for Nelson. “Tobacco Free Tuesdays takes away that barrier — it helps remove the doubt and anxiety just long enough that people are able to prove to themselves that they can quit.”
By providing the incentive and added one-on-one support through QuitNow’s coaching tools, the Tobacco Free Tuesday challenge has helped British Columbians quit smoking for over a year. Our exit survey of over 1,500 participants shows that even among daily smokers, there is an 87 per cent success rate. What’s even more impressive, is that of those who make it through that first day, almost 80 per cent keep going for a second day once the challenge is over. A further 38 per cent are still smoke-free a week later.
“If you know someone who could use a bit of an extra nudge to help them quit smoking, refer them to Tobacco Free Tuesdays at quitnow.ca/contest,” says Jessen. “There’s no catch. This challenge is all about helping to turn a plan into action, and a whole new smoke-free life.”