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Lucky Quitters to Receive Big Money in Stop-Smoking Contest

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Three Minnesotans who successfully quit smoking will receive big prizes during a special on-ice presentation at the Minnesota Wild game on November 24 at the Xcel Energy Center. The winners were participants in The QuitCash Challenge, a new stop-smoking contest from ClearWay Minnesota(SM) and QUITPLAN(R) Services.

The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 in cash, while two runners-up will get $1,000 gift cards from Gander Mountain.

More than 2,500 Minnesotans competed in the Challenge, which launched in August. The contest rules stated that any applicant needed to quit smoking by October 1 and remain tobacco-free to be eligible for prizes. After the contest period ended, the winners were chosen randomly from the pool of applicants. Each winner provided a signed legal affidavit and passed a urine test, verifying that they had remained tobacco-free.

"The QuitCash Challenge was a great success in encouraging Minnesotans to give up smoking and have a chance to win some fabulous prizes," said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer at ClearWay Minnesota. "While only so many could receive prizes, everyone who makes the choice to improve their lives by quitting smoking is a true winner. Congratulations to all!"

In addition to the grand prize winner and gift card winners, ten applicants won pairs of luxury suite tickets to the Minnesota Wild game.

This is the first year ClearWay Minnesota and QUITPLAN Services sponsored The QuitCash Challenge. Minnesota smokers registered online at, a website that also featured a cost savings calculator -- demonstrating just how much money quitting can save a person during the contest and beyond.

ClearWay Minnesota is partnering with the Minnesota Wild to honor the winners of The QuitCash Challenge at the game on November 24.

Tobacco use takes its toll on all Minnesotans. Each year, 5,600 Minnesotans die from tobacco-related diseases, and the cost of smoking is estimated to be $2 billion in direct health care costs. Minnesotans can find out about all the free help to quit smoking through QUITPLAN Services by visiting or calling 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).

QUITPLAN(R) Services for Minnesotans include:

-- The QUITPLAN(R) Helpline -- The QUITPLAN Helpline, 1-888-354-PLAN, offers telephone counseling and free nicotine patches, lozenges or gum to eligible callers.

-- -- The website offers free lifetime membership, helpful quitting tools and activities, and the chance to connect online with thousands of others who have chosen to quit tobacco.

-- QUITPLAN(R) Centers -- QUITPLAN Centers provide in-person counseling in a healthcare setting, as well as access to nicotine patches, lozenges or gum.

-- Community-Tailored QUITPLAN(R) Centers -- A combination of stop-smoking tools and culturally-tailored counseling for communities of color.

-- QUITPLAN(R) at Work -- The QUITPLAN at Work program offers free on-site professional group counseling for eligible businesses with at least eight employees ready to stop smoking.

About ClearWay Minnesota(SM)

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, non-profit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN(R) stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit

     Contact: Mike Sheldon
     Communications Manager
     (952) 767-1425

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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