Have you been trying to give up smoking, but just haven't found the right motivation?
Nothing seems to work, so you keep smoking.
What if someone offered you $2,500 to quit smoking next month? Would that help?
The Greene County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition (GCTPC) announced earlier this week that it, along with the state coalition, has launched "Quit Now Indiana" -- a statewide "stop smoking" contest offering $5,000 in cash prizes that is designed to encourage Hoosiers to quit using tobacco.
The summer-long campaign comes in the wake of a new low in Indiana's adult smoking rate from 26.1 percent in 2008 to 23 percent in 2009.
Prize money totaling $5,000 will be provided to the top three winners, courtesy of AmeriHealth Mercy of Indiana, the presenting sponsor of the contest. The top prize winner, who successfully quits smoking from Sept. 1-30, and whose name is randomly drawn, will receive $2,500 as the grand prize winner. The second and third place winners will receive $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.
You must be at least 18 to participate.
"As the GCTPC coordinator, I am pleased to announce a new incentive for tobacco users to quit, the Indiana Quit Tobacco Use Now contest," Nancy Cummings of Bloomfield said.
"In addition to submitting entry forms located at the Bloomfield First Baptist Church Food Pantry, the Linton Community Food Pantry, and Family Life Center (in Bloomfield), one may also complete the information online. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to quit to take those first steps, making the decision to quit and then choosing a quit date."
You may sign up for the contest at www.INShape.IN.gov or www.quitnowindiana.com .
You may also sign up at the GCTPC office in Bloomfield at 132 East Main St., Suite 3.
Cummings said tobacco use is not just a personal issue.
"Tobacco use affects all aspects of our lives, from personal health challenges to the health of everyone exposed to secondhand smoke, from personal to employer insurance costs, our work, home, and social environments, long term health costs, and environmental issues. Those discarded cigarette butts release toxins into the soil and do not disintegrate," Cummings explained.
"I recently reviewed a report entitled 'County Health Rankings' by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. One statistic jumped right off the page: An estimated 27 percent of Greene County adults (approximately 6,739) smoke."
Cummings added that more than 80 percent of Hoosier smokers want to quit.
"Many employees are looking for help to break their tobacco addiction. Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency offers Indiana employers its Quit Now Preferred Employer program. It's a free program that allows employers to receive employee education materials, fax referral forms, monthly summaries on fax referred employees, and updates on new resources and news from ITPC," Cummings said.
If you're an employer, Cummings said she would love to come to your business and talk to your employees about kicking the habit.
"I would be glad to meet with you or your HR staff to discuss this program. Greene County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation can also assist you, free of charge, in developing and adopting a comprehensive tobacco free policy," Cummings said.
Cummings can be contacted at 384-8769.
"Greene County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition continues to work with people in our county, including businesses, schools and social service organizations, to help adults quit smoking and youth to not start," Cummings explained. "One such program currently in existence is our state's free tobacco quitline. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is a program that provides free help for every smoker in our county who is ready to quit. Smokers can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit indianaquitline.net for free help from trained quit coaches. Smokers who enroll in the free Quitline program also have the opportunity for two weeks of free nicotine patches or gum."