More than 1,500 have participated in Quit and Win to date.

LEWISTON – More than 125 community members attended the seventh annual Quit and Win celebration on March 7 at Lewiston High School.

It was the first time since the program began that everyone who had ever participated in the program, as well as community members who had quit tobacco, were invited to join to celebrate life free from nicotine addiction.

Collectively, those who attended the celebration on March 7 had been tobacco-free for approximately 214 years.

“That’s quite a record,” said Healthy Androscoggin Executive Director Angela Westhoff, who welcomed the crowd and congratulated the participants on their success. She said that more than 1,500 individuals have participated in Quit and Win to date.

The program is a five-week tobacco cessation event sponsored by Healthy Androscoggin in which tobacco users are provided with information, quit tips and social support to help them overcome nicotine.

The Lewiston High School cafeteria was filled with quitters and the buddies who had registered with them to provide support and encouragement. As the guests arrived, they were greeted and registered by volunteers, including past Quit and Win program participants who now are Healthy Androscoggin coalition members.

All in attendance were entered for a door prize drawing. Quitters were also entered into a cash prize drawing, with a grand prize of $500. Winners included Ellen Emery, $500; Cindy Wadsworth, $250; and Christy Ayotte, $100.

There were displays tables with information on staying tobacco free from American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Center for Tobacco Independence, Central Maine Medical Center and Healthy Androscoggin.

Guests had soups, bread, appetizers and dessert, prepared by Lewiston Regional Technical Center culinary arts students.

Vicky Wiegman, Lewiston High School substance abuse counselor, was the keynote speaker. She congratulated the quitters and talked about how Maine, as a state, has made remarkable progress in reducing the youth tobacco use rates.

A special presentation was made by Michelle Caliandro of the American Lung Association. She presented Healthy Androscoggin with a copy of the Maine Tobacco Report Card, in which the state received all A’s in the areas of tobacco prevention and control spending, smoke-free air, cigarette tax and decreasing youth access.

Maine is the first state in the nation to receive straight A’s. Keith Pray, Healthy Androscoggin’s tobacco support group facilitator, accepted the award on behalf of the coalition.

For information on quitting, call Healthy Androscoggin at 795-5990 or visit www.healthyandroscoggin.org.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.