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Living tobacco free

public health unitCongratulations to Katherine Wood, at Autoliv, for winning the Live Tobacco Free category in the “Get Hooked on Health Challenge”. Katherine and her ‘support buddy’ Eleanor Leblanc, were presented with their prizes on Tuesday February 4th, 2014 at their workplace Autoliv.

The “Get Hooked on Health Challenge”, was part of a pilot workplace smoking cessation project offered by the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit. This pilot project was made possible with funding from Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is one of eleven sites across Ontario that was successful in receiving the funding. All of the projects will be evaluated by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. The findings will help determine best practice programing for workplace smoking cessation.

In Chatham-Kent the two workplaces that participated in the project were Autoliv and Meritor Suspension Systems Company. Both worked closely with Michelle Bogaert, Health Educator, to administer employer and employee surveys. Data from these surveys was used to design the smoking cessation program. It was identified that the following would make the program successful and engaging: easy access, free nicotine replacement therapy and a contest.

At both workplaces the program was offered on site, during work hours and at varying times accommodating different shifts. All participants and their partners were eligible for up to 10 weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy patches, along with cessation counselling. To make the program more engaging the “Get Hooked on Health Challenge” was designed and launched. This challenge was open to all employees and was designed to promote healthy living. Contestants participated in one of the three categories: Quit, Cut Back, and Live Tobacco-Free.

For more information on the project or on quitting smoking contact Michelle Bogaert at the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519-352-7270 x2442.