MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A Fridley woman quit smoking after nearly 13 years to win the $5,000 grand prize in QUITPLAN Services' fourth annual QuitCash Challenge. Christine Albertson, 26, was one of more than 3,000 Minnesotans who entered The QuitCash Challenge, kicking their tobacco habit and remaining smoke-free for at least one month.
QUITPLAN Services will celebrate Christine's accomplishment and present her with a check for $5,000 on Friday, January 27, just one week before American Heart Month begins. American Heart Month draws attention to the leading cause of death in the United States, coronary heart disease, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, can be caused by smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.
Christine was able to overcome her addiction to tobacco by using nicotine patches, which she has now weaned off of completely. Quitting was not an easy process for Christine, but having a plan, strong support from her family and friends, and motivation from the contest helped her stay on track and stay quit.
"We are thrilled that The QuitCash Challenge motivated Christine to quit and that she was able to take part in the contest to accomplish her goal," said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of Clearway Minnesota. "We commend all Minnesotans who entered The QuitCash Challenge for taking the steps toward a healthier life."
Other prizes were awarded for contest participants as well. The first runner-up and winner of a 42-inch HDTV is Adam Novak from Maplewood.
Of the 3,050 contestants, 64 percent were women and 36 percent were men. Hennepin County had the highest number of entries with 654, followed by Ramsey County with 289 entries. The 11 county metro area was represented by 59 percent of contestants (1,811), while 41 percent of participants (1,239, an increase of 135 people from 2010) were from outstate. Nearly all 87 counties were represented in this year's challenge.
Launched by ClearWay Minnesota in 2001, QUITPLAN Services offers all Minnesotans year-round, free access to quit-smoking counseling and can provide individuals with nicotine patches, gum or lozenges. Minnesotans can find out about all the free help to quit smoking available through QUITPLAN Services by visiting quitplan.com or calling 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).
QUITPLAN® Services for Minnesotans include:
- The QUITPLAN® Helpline – The QUITPLAN Helpline offers telephone counseling and free nicotine patches, lozenges or gum to eligible callers.
- quitplan.com – The website offers free lifetime membership, helpful quitting tools and activities and the option to connect online with thousands of others who have chosen to quit tobacco.
- QUITPLAN® at Work – The QUITPLAN at Work program offers free on-site professional group counseling for eligible businesses with at least eight employees ready to stop smoking.
About ClearWay Minnesota(SM)
ClearWay Minnesota is an independent nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit clearwaymn.org.
SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota