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Quit Challenge Backs Tobacco-Free Pledge

 Quit Challenge Backs Tobacco-Free Pledge

09/10/2013 

Healthy lungs, fresh breath and freedom from an expensive addiction might not be incentive enough for some members of the SUNY Cortland community to quit smoking or stop chewing tobacco.

So how about a week in the Adirondacks or an iPad Mini?

As the College begins its second full semester as one of the SUNY system’s first tobacco-free campuses, SUNY Cortland is offering prizes to faculty, staff and students who manage to kick the habit for most of the 2013-14 academic year.

The Quit and Win Challenge, set to launch next month, will give tobacco users an opportunity to earn prizes for kicking their unhealthy habits. SUNY Cortland officially became a tobacco-free campus in January, banning the use of cigarettes, cigars, chaw or any other tobacco product on campus.

An information session outlining the details of the tobacco-free challenge will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Corey Union Exhibition Lounge.

In short, students and employees will be able to earn monthly incentives and grand prizes for their ability to quit. Faculty and staff members will be eligible to win big prizes that include a weeklong getaway to Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, a one-night stay at the Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House and a Kindle Fire.

Students can win an iPad Mini or one of two Kindle Fires.

The challenge kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 1, and requires a person to quit until at least Thursday, May 1, to be eligible for the top prizes.

Regardless of whether or not smokers opt to participate, they are asked to be considerate of SUNY Cortland’s neighbors by disposing of used tobacco products properly and by avoiding routinely congregating in the same location if they smoke on the perimeter of campus.

The College remains committed to providing many different avenues to help tobacco users quit, including a comprehensive tobacco-free website. The site outlines the policy, provides information on the dangers of tobacco, suggests ways to ask people to stop using tobacco and offers even more resources for people who would like to quit.

For more information on the Quit and Win Challenge or SUNY Cortland’s tobacco-free efforts, contact Marie Blanden, secretary in the Division of Student Affairs, at 607-753-4721 or Catherine Smith, health educator in the Health Promotion Office, at 607-753-2066.