The provincial government is making it easier than ever to get help kicking the smoking habit.

Quitting? Head to your pharmacy for free help, more choices

Province has invested $38 million into B.C.'s Smoking Cessation Program in last four years

  • Dec. 30, 2015 6:00 p.m.

VICTORIA – If your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking, all you need to do is visit your local pharmacy, announced Health Minister Terry Lake today.

As of Jan. 1, 2016, smokers who want to quit no longer need to call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to join the British Columbia Smoking Cessation Program. Instead, they can join the program and access free nicotine replacement therapy products just by visiting any community pharmacy in the province.

The program is adding more nicotine replacement choices for people trying to quit. Smokers now have the option of choosing nicotine lozenges or inhalers, as well as nicotine gum and the nicotine skin patch previously paid for by the program.

“We changed the program to make it easier for people who are trying to quit smoking, or trying again,” said Lake. “I have seen friends and family struggle to break their terrible addiction to cigarettes. I hope this improved program helps others avoid the same struggle and the health problems that come from smoking.”

Community pharmacies in every region of British Columbia are ready to help people sign up, starting New Year’s Day.

“We’re happy to help people who want to make 2016 the year they quit smoking,” said Geraldine Vance, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association. “Community pharmacists are accessible and committed to helping patients live healthier lives.”

The new nicotine replacement therapy options were added to the program after the Ministry of Health held a request for proposals from interested suppliers. The successful bid was from Johnson and Johnson Inc., for Nicorette- and Nicoderm-brand products.

“We’ve co-operated closely with the Smoking Cessation Program for years, helping people get the support they need to quit. These changes are smart improvements to an already effective program,” said Scott McDonald, CEO of the B.C. Lung Association. “After people pick up their free nicotine replacement products, I encourage them to contact Quit

Now, our free support program for people trying to quit smoking or other tobacco use.”

B.C.’s Smoking Cessation Program has helped thousands of British Columbians work toward a tobacco-free life. It covers nicotine replacement therapy products, as well as the prescription drugs Champix (varenicline) and Zyban (bupropion).

Since it began in 2011, the Province has invested more than $38 million into the program. More than 187,000 have used the program to try to quit. That’s 25 per cent of British Columbians who smoke.

Recent evaluation of the program’s nicotine replacement therapy shows it helps people attempt to quit, and to be successful.

The Ministry of Health completed a survey this year of 3,000 smokers who used nicotine replacement therapy as part of the program. More than a quarter of the people surveyed had quit smoking. More than half had managed to quit for a month or longer, an important step toward becoming smoke-free for life. Three-quarters smoked less after participating in the program, and 65% agreed the program helped or is helping them try to quit smoking.

The survey is available here:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/practitioner-professional-resources/pharmacare/pharmacare-publications#studies

 

Just Posted

Boomer Jerritt next North Island College Artist Talk speaker

Acclaimed Comox Valley photographer, artist and world traveller Boomer Jerritt is coming… Continue reading

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

School district launches catchment consultation process in the Comox Valley

Comox Valley Schools is commencing an important boundary catchment consultation process beginning… Continue reading

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

UPDATED: Town of Comox, RCMP complete investigations into allegations of staff misconduct

Mayor was unaware of any investigation opened by previous CAO

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Comox Valley Nature hosting one-day conference to discuss Courtenay’s Urban Forest Plan

Comox Valley Nature (CVN) is opening its annual Fall Vancouver Island Regional… Continue reading

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Most Read