Dear Manitoba Quits Participant,
We want to congratulate each and every person who took part in this year's contest. We know how difficult quitting smoking can be - it takes courage to tackle this addiction. We also congratulate those of you who successfully have quit smoking but whose names were not drawn. You may not get the cash prize but, in the long run, you will win back your health and put cash back in your pocket.
Claudette Lynn - Hamiota Manitoba
39 year old mother of one teenager and longtime smoker decided to try her luck with ManitobaQuits and ended up a winner. Claudette, with the support of her boyfriend Rick decided to give quitting a chance after trying twice before - 15 months each time. Rick quit smoking one week before Claudette and was her Quit Buddy - someone who could provide emotional and moral support - for the duration of the contest.
Claudette, who had started smoking at 13 years old, took the urging from her daughter to heart and made the hard decision to try again. "My daughter was always on me to quit smoking", says Claudette. Feeling better as a non-smoker, Claudette is happy to be able to spend more quality time with her daughter and to use the money that used to go into smoking on things for herself and her family.
Peter Pomart, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Peter Pomart, another ManitobaQuits cash winner works for the University of Manitoba as an Aboriginal Student Advisor.
Peter decided to register for ManitobaQuits after many years of smoking, and with urging from his partner and Quit Buddy Brenda. But it was the news of his fathers' and a close mentor's struggles with cancer that provided Peter with the wake-up call to make a serious quit attempt. He has stayed smoke free and is glad to be saving money and not having to head outside in the cold for lonely smoke breaks anymore.
Gayle Perley, Brandon Manitoba
19 year-old Gayle started smoking a lot when she was in hospital a year ago. She says that smoking seemed to help her to relax and to deal with boredom and stress. Smoking also acted as a "get-a-way" when she wanted to take a break from her busy schedule at work.It was a nurse who told Gayle about the ManitobaQuits contest and who encouraged Gayle to register. Gayle signed up with her friend and Quit Buddy Jenna and has stayed quit since then. She is happy to have found other ways to cope with stress including spending more time with friends, keeping busy with hobbies and enjoying her work in retail.Gayle plans to use her winnings for a move to a new apartment this summer. The winnings and saving money that would have gone to cigarettes will make this change one to celebrate.
I am a 58 year old non-smoker; wife; mother of 4 children, and grandmother of 2 boys. I am a retired registered nurse and for the last 10 years have been an IT and Communication Manger for an Adoption Agency. I began smoking when I was 16 years old; in high school that was the cool thing to do. I smoked randomly on and off for 24 years. Since I was 40 I smoked ½ to 1 package per day. The last 5 years I smoked 1 package every day without a doubt, sometimes a few more than a package. Every day for the last 5 years especially, I hated what I was doing-hated myself, hated wondering when I could have another cigarette, hated the smell, hated that my husband hated that smell. I hated the yellow on my fingers, I hated how much I spent on them each week, hated absolutely everything about smoking but my addiction overwhelmed me at times. I just could not live without them; or so I thought. I have quit many times in the past. Fell under the illusion that I could have just 1 cigarette and of course began smoking again and more than before. It was a vicious cycle.I can't say one particular thing that prompted me this time-I faced breast cancer surgery under general anesthesia and I worried about respiratory issues following that. I spoke with a homeopathic doctor about acupuncture as an aid to quitting smoking and I believe the combination of fear of surgery, acupuncture, herbs and tinctures to clear the body of nicotine more quickly and simply talking out loud about how much I hated my life because of my smoking all came together. This homeopathic doctor also mentioned a book; Allan Carr-The Easy Way to Quit Smoking. It was the absolute quintessential read: it truly was easy to quit smoking. I never questioned my decision to quit when I made it, it just happened and I have never looked back. I am so grateful for the support of my husband and family-I talk easily about smoking now-I think about it but not about smoking again. I am done. I am a non-smoker for the rest of my life and I simply love my life now. Freedom is my new word to describe my feelings about quitting smoking. I am totally free and I love it!
Rick Heisler - Winnipeg Manitoba
Rick Heisler, a Winnipegger and 43 years old, started smoking at age 12. Forty years as a smoker made him realize he was "sick of being sick" and after hearing about ManitobaQuits from his wife Shannon decided to give the quit smoking contest a try. Rick who has smoked nearly a pack a day for many years estimates he was spending about $4,000.00 a year on cigarettes.
The money spent on cigarettes can now be spent on other things as Rick adjusts to the life of a non-smoker. Already, he is finding breathing and sleeping much improved. The $1,000.00 cash prize will be a much deserved reward!
We encourage them and everyone else who has completed to stay smoke-free for good. Keep Trying!
A Division of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba
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