Facing the ‘challenge’ to butt out

Fort Frances OPP Cst. Phil Donald came out on top here last week when his name was among the winners drawn at random in Toronto in the province-wide “Quit Smoking 2000” contest held March 1-April 3.
Cst. Donald won a year’s membership courtesy of the Fort Frances Sportsplex. The second-place winner, who asked to remain anonymous, took home a Sony discman courtesy of the local Heart Health Coalition and Sight & Sound.
“[Quitting smoking] certainly had its challenges,” Cst. Donald admitted Monday, noting this was his third attempt at kicking the habit, having previously used the nicotine patch and gum to help quash withdrawal symptoms.
Now on “Zyban,” a prescription drug without nicotine used in smoking cessation programs, long-term success seems more probable for him.
“This is, by far, the easiest [attempt] of the three,” he remarked.
Each participant in the contest had to register two buddies they could count on for support should a craving to light up occur.
Cst. Donald counted on fellow police officers Steve Maki and Paul Pirie, whom he said had zero tolerance for him falling off the non-smoker’s wagon.
“They would have ratted me out in a minute–without hesitation,” he chuckled.
Meanwhile, Cst. Donald said he plans to use his new membership this fall, with squash and weightlifting being on the workout schedule.
Provincial prize winners included residents of Bracebridge, Terrace Bay, Wasaga Beach, and Owen Sound, with prizes ranging from a Caribbean cruise for two to a diamond pendant and TV/VCR packages.
Across Kenora-Rainy River districts, 549 registrants entered the contest. Overall, there were 12,588 entries from across Ontario.
Jacqueline Cawston, of the Fort Frances Heart Health Coalition, said last week 84 of the 549 registrants were from the Fort Frances area, and that the contest had generated great excitement in several local workplaces and throughout the community.
“We were extremely pleased with the response to this campaign,” she noted.