Smokers can quit for free starting Friday

Smokers who want to butt out can access free quit-smoking aids starting Friday.

Smokers who want to butt out can access free quit-smoking aids starting Friday.

The provincial quit-smoking program is rolling out B.C. wide Sept. 30 and is expected to see an estimated $15 to $25 million tax dollars spent on quit smoking aids like nicotine replacement and pharmaceuticals, said a press release from the Ministry of Health and Premier’s offices today.

By reducing the number of people who smoke, not only will we prevent or delay the onset of diseases like heart attacks and cancer but also avoid the millions of dollars cost on our health care system,” said Premier Christy Clark in a press release.

Starting Sept. 30, anyone covered by B.C.’s medical services plan (MSP) can call 8-1-1 to register for the program.

Once a smoker has a registration number, he or she will be able to get free nicotine gum or patches by mail or at a local pharmacy.

Pharmaceutical quit smoking aides Zyban and Champix are also being covered by B.C. Pharmacare, but both require a doctor’s prescription, and one’s level of coverage will depend on their plan, said local pharmacist Travis Titcomb, who works at Shoppers Drugmart on Park Ave.

Doses for all quitting aids will be supplied in four-week intervals, and quitters will need to re-register every four weeks to continue treatment.

The reason for this is so that the quitting process can be monitored by health professionals like doctors and pharmacists, said Titcomb.

In all, B.C. smokers can access 12 weeks of free quit-smoking product each year.

And while no end date to the program has been set, the Ministry of Health said the program’s effectiveness will be assessed throughout and that information will be used to determine its length.

All pharmacies in Terrace are participating in the program, although only Habitrol brand nicotine patches and the Thrive brand of nicotine gum will be covered.

Local pharmacists recommend calling to see what’s in stock before dropping in to pick up either brand.

And for those who want to quit but aren’t sure which method to try, Titcomb said a visit to the doctor or pharmacist can help to answer questions.

Correction: The original version of this story published online Sept. 27 said Champix and Zyban, both pharmaceutical drugs used to help smokers quit, will be offered for free under the new provincial program. In fact, they will be covered by B.C. Pharmacare, and the extent of the coverage will depend on one’s plan.

Just Posted

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

NARA sends off rescues to Cat Cafe in Vancouver

Several cats and kittens from the region are now up for adoption at Catoro Cafe

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

Coast Mountain College announces interim president

Ken Burt, current president and CEO, will say goodbye to CMNT come September

Terrace River Kings schedule released

Two new teams join CIHL in upcoming season

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Liberals block hearings into scathing ethics report on SNC-Lavalin affair

Dion concluded in his report last week that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act

Retired Richmond fisherman wins record-breaking $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

‘Unsubstantiated’ bomb threat against CP Rail in Revelstoke

On Aug. 18, a bomb threat was made against CP Rail in Revelstoke

Victoria father charged with double murder of his daughters takes the stand

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Most Read