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Students reap rewards of smoking cessation contest

It may have been scorching hot Wednesday afternoon, but it was much less smoky than usual, as the Leave the Pack Behind student health services group held its awards ceremony in the Thirsty Scholar.

With about 50 student participants on hand to watch, UWindsor president Alan Wildeman handed out awards to those winners who reduced or eliminated cigarettes from their lives.

“I was smoking a lot of cigarettes, and I figured out that I needed to stop, I was spending too much money on it,”  said an overjoyed Abdullah Sadi, a business student who won the grand prize of a $500 tuition voucher for quitting smoking completely.

“I read something that said that if you can’t control something, you’re addicted to it, and that really hit me hard.  I was spending a lot of money, and I just wasn’t happy with the situation,” Sadi said.

Meanwhile, Sherise McDowal, winner of the $100 prize for pledging never to smoke, believes it’s all about the people you associate with.

“I surround myself with friends who don’t smoke, so there is no temptation or peer pressure to smoke,” said McDowal, a kinesiology major.

Organizers called Leave the Pack Behind a huge success this year, with 241 people involved -- 35 who have quit for good, and 18 who have reduced their smoking by half, which is a big stepping stone on the way to quitting.

— by Brendan Johnson

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