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Quit smoking contest offers $10,000 prize

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Smokers in the UAE can win up to $10,000 (Dh36,700) if they quit smoking for a month in May.

The Central Department of Health Education at the Ministry of Health is conducting the “Quit and Win, Smoking Cessation Contest” during May along with Nicotinell.The programme coincides with World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Dr Ayesha Al Mutawa, director of Central Department of Health Education, said: “The contest is open to all smokers – shisha, cigarette, cigar or pipe. Anyone can walk in and pick up the forms. After a month, we will test their lungs to see if they have really quit. This is a test of their will power.Then we will put them on a nicotine patch programme.” Participating malls in the Emirates will have stands equipped with health educators and tests to measure the toxic gases in the lungs of smokers before and after they quit.

All smokers above 18 years of age, with a history of daily smoking of one year or more before the start of the competition are eligible for the contest.

Once a person register to enter the contest, he or she will have to abstain from smoking for at least four weeks between May 1 to May 30.

A biochemical test will be done for participants to ensure complete abstinence from smoking during the period.

In addition to the test, a witness must testify on the smoking history of the participant during the four weeks period.

Apart from the main prize, there will be an international draw for winners and the opportunity to win more prizes.

Entry forms will be sent to the Central Department of Health Education.

The event is held in collaboration with Health Education Sections in the Northern Emirates as well as Preventive Medicine Department in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

Spouses who smoke are likely the main targets for campaigners.

Rini Damos, a Dubai housewife, said: “I want my husband to quit smoking anyway. So if he gets money for it, of course, I will encourage him.”

5:10 AM :: ::
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