This week is national non-smoking week. Prime Minister Stephen Harper released a statement saying the government has taken initiatives to help smokers quit. Here in Timmins, there are two different contests to motivate butting out. Matthew Budd, a public health nurse, says there are cash prizes to be won.

The Health Unit has two different contests, Driven to Quit and Would You Rather. Smokers, non-smokers, social smokers, and those who aren’t quite ready to quit for good are all eligible.

The Health Unit also has free counselling for those who want to quit, and offer discounts on quitting aids, like Nicorette.

13, 000 people die in Ontario every year from smoking related diseases. That works out to 36 people dying every day from tobacco. The Ontario health care system spends $2.2 billion a year on treatment for smokers.

Head over to the Porcupine Health Unit for contest information.