National Non-Smoking Week is Jan. 17-23.
Are you or someone you know trying to quit smoking? There is good news to share. The Government of B.C. is making it easier to get the tools people need to quit. As of January 1, 2016, smokers who want to quit no longer need to call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to join the BC Smoking Cessation Program
. Instead, they can join the program and access free nicotine replacement therapy products just by visiting their local pharmacy.
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.“Quitting smoking can be challenging and often requires many attempts before success is achieved,” says Dr. Milan Khara, a VCH Addiction Physician – Smoking Cessation, who noted that National Non-Smoking Week is also coming up (January 17-23). “So anything that can increase the likelihood of quitting should be made available with minimal obstacles.
We know that smoking cessation medications can double or triple success rates compared to ‘cold turkey’ or unassisted cessation. So it is great news that the government coverage of these medications is continuing and now even easier to access.”Community pharmacies in every region of British Columbia are ready to help people sign up. B.C.’s Smoking Cessation Program
covers nicotine replacement therapy products, as well as related prescription drugs.
Each year, more than 6,000 British Columbians die from the effects of tobacco use. Tobacco use is the single most-preventable cause of disease and death in British Columbia.