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Lucky Quitters to Receive Big Money in Stop-Smoking Contest

Saturday, November 22, 2008 General News J E 4
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MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 21 Three Minnesotans who successfullyquit smoking will receive big prizes during a special on-ice presentation atthe Minnesota Wild game on November 24 at the Xcel Energy Center. The winnerswere participants in The QuitCash Challenge, a new stop-smoking contest fromClearWay Minnesota(SM) and QUITPLAN(R) Services.

The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 in cash, while two runners-upwill get $1,000 gift cards from Gander Mountain.

More than 2,500 Minnesotans competed in the Challenge, which launched inAugust. The contest rules stated that any applicant needed to quit smoking byOctober 1 and remain tobacco-free to be eligible for prizes. After the contestperiod ended, the winners were chosen randomly from the pool of applicants.Each winner provided a signed legal affidavit and passed a urine test,verifying that they had remained tobacco-free.

"The QuitCash Challenge was a great success in encouraging Minnesotans togive up smoking and have a chance to win some fabulous prizes," said DavidWilloughby, Chief Executive Officer at ClearWay Minnesota. "While only so manycould receive prizes, everyone who makes the choice to improve their lives byquitting smoking is a true winner. Congratulations to all!"

In addition to the grand prize winner and gift card winners, tenapplicants won pairs of luxury suite tickets to the Minnesota Wild game.

This is the first year ClearWay Minnesota and QUITPLAN Services sponsoredThe QuitCash Challenge. Minnesota smokers registered online at quitcash.com, awebsite that also featured a cost savings calculator -- demonstrating just howmuch money quitting can save a person during the contest and beyond.

ClearWay Minnesota is partnering with the Minnesota Wild to honor thewinners of The QuitCash Challenge at the game on November 24.

Tobacco use takes its toll on all Minnesotans. Each year, 5,600Minnesotans die from tobacco-related diseases, and the cost of smoking isestimated to be $2 billion in direct health care costs. Minnesotans can findout about all the free help to quit smoking through QUITPLAN Services byvisiting quitplan.com or calling 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).

QUITPLAN(R) Services for Minnesotans include:

-- The QUITPLAN(R) Helpline -- The QUITPLAN Helpline, 1-888-354-PLAN,offers telephone counseling and free nicotine patches, lozenges or gum toeligible callers.

-- quitplan.com -- The website offers free lifetime membership, helpfulquitting tools and activities, and the chance to connect online with thousandsof others who have chosen to quit tobacco.

-- QUITPLAN(R) Centers -- QUITPLAN Centers provide in-person counselingin a healthcare setting, as well as access to nicotine patches, lozenges orgum.

-- Community-Tailored QUITPLAN(R) Centers -- A combination ofstop-smoking tools and culturally-tailored counseling for communities ofcolor.

-- QUITPLAN(R) at Work -- The QUITPLAN at Work program offers freeon-site professional group counseling for eligible businesses with at leasteight employees ready to stop smoking.

About ClearWay Minnesota(SM)

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, non-profit organization thatimproves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco.ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program,QUITPLAN(R) stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It isfunded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For moreinformation on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 orvisit clearwaymn.org.Contact: Mike Sheldon Communications Manager (952) 767-1425

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
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