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Cancer Society Driven to Quit Challenge begins; prizes butting out include cars

01/03/2012 11:06 EST | Updated 03/04/2012 05:12 EST
TORONTO - Quit smoking and you could win a car.

The Canadian Cancer Society is launching its seventh annual Driven to Quit Challenge today in Ontario.

The Challenge, funded annually by the Ontario government, is open to Ontarians aged 19 and over who used tobacco at least 10 months in 2011.

Those who stay smoke-free for the month of March could win their choice of a new Ford Fusion hybrid or Ford Edge.

Today's official launch takes place in Toronto's David Pecaut Square and those who want to participate must register by Feb. 29.

A street team will blanket the busy square, asking the public to make their New Year's pledge by tossing their packs in a 3 1/2-metre tall acrylic cigarette butt.

"Fifteen per cent of people in Ontario smoke, and tobacco use accounts for 30 per cent of all cancer cases," Martin Kabat, Canadian Cancer Society CEO for Ontario said Tuesday.

Health and Long-Term Care Minister Deb Matthews said the province is committed to helping break the cycle of tobacco addiction.

"Every attempt to quit is a vital part of this process, and with the right resources and motivation, Ontarians have a better chance of success," Matthews said.

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