For the second straight year, the local tobacco control coalition for Clay County is teaming up with state health officials to sponsor a statewide stop-smoking contest known as "Quit 2 Win."
For people who smoke, there's never been a better time to quit as the contest will offer cash prizes totaling $5,000, including a top prize of $2,500.
Once the winner is determined, the prizes will be awarded later this fall.
To sign up locally for the contest, people may visit any one of the following locations:
* The Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds (in the AMAX Building) all week,
* The Clay County YMCA,
* The LEAAP Center, or
* Brazil City Hall.
The contest comes at an important time as cigarette consumption in the state is down significantly.
In July 2007, a law was passed raising Indiana's tobacco tax by 44 cents. Since that time, cigarette consumption in the state has dropped by 17.8 percent.
The progress is important, especially in light of the fact that the tobacco industry spends $425 million to promote its products in Indiana. It demonstrates that the money Indiana is spending in helping people quit smoking is having a positive impact.
In order to enter the contest, those interested must be at least 18 and pledge to stop using tobacco between Sept. 15, 2008, and Oct. 15, 2008. All "Quit 2 Win" must be received by Sept. 1. A winner will be drawn at random and tested to make sure they are tobacco-free. Cash prizes of $1,500 and $1,000 respectively will be awarded to the second- and third-place finishers.
To enter online, those interested may visit INShape Indiana at www.inshape.IN.gov and click on the "Quit 2 Win" icon.
Hoosiers interested in signing up for the contest may also enter in person by filling out an entry card at various fairs and festivals throughout the state as well as at concerts at the WhiteLies.tv lawn at White River State Park and Indiana Black Expo's "Summer Celebration.