An international quit smoking contest, which offers a handsome prize money of $10,000, has drawn a massive response in Kerala, with an institute associated with it finding its phone lines jammed on the very first day Friday.
The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) here is a partner of Fnland's National Institute of Public Health, which has organised the contest the world over.
"This contest is open to all across the world and any smoker who wants to quit smoking has to do it from May 1. On World No Tobacco Day on May 31, all those who have entered the contest would be included in a raffle and one lucky person from across the world will win $10,000," Gopi Chellan, who heads the anti-smoking campaign cell at AIMS, told IANS.
"The response has been tremendous and calls started coming as early as Friday morning. After a few hours we are finding it difficult to handle the calls."
"But the thing is every smoker who takes part in the lucky draw after quitting smoking has to fill an application, which is mandatory. We have to wait and see how many actually turn up."
Chellan added that AIMS too had decided to come out with special prizes for those quit smoking during the campaign period.
"There will be no cash prize but we will certainly reward those who kick the habit," added Chellan.