Winners of The Post and Courier Quit & Win Contest Announced

Former smokers win $1,000 through contest

Charleston, S.C. (Feb. 25, 2016) – Two smokers who successfully quit smoking as part of the Quit & Win Contest have been awarded a $1,000 cash prize from the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center. The contest began November 19, 2015.

Eligible individuals were required to:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Live or work in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester County, S.C.
  • Be a current daily smoker who has smoked for at least one year or more
  • Complete the registration form by no later than January 15, 2016
  • Not smoke between January 15 and February 13, 2016
  • Have nonsmoking status bio-chemically confirmed within 24 hours of notification of winning

Five hundred forty-eight contestants entered the contest. The two winners, Charles Smith of Summerville and James Paladino of Mt. Pleasant, both pack-a-day smokers who stopped smoking, were randomly selected and had their non-smoking status bio-chemically confirmed.

“Even though only two of the 548 contestants won the cash, all those who joined and made a quit attempt are winners,” said Dr. K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D., organizer of the contest. “The average pack-a-day smoker is spending $1825 per year on cigarettes, so the real winners are those who keep their cash in their pocket rather than handing it over to the cigarette companies.”

Cummings added that, for those who did not make it or did not join the contest, it is never too late to quit. They are encouraged to talk to their doctor or dentist for help on how to stop smoking, get free help by calling the toll free South Carolina Quitline (1-800-QUIT NOW), or go to for tips and advice on how to stop. MUSC will conduct a follow-up survey with all participants to get their feedback on the contest and ideas of how to improve the event in the future.

K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D., M.P.H.

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