B.C. makes quitting smoking easier

Participants can register at a pharmacy, and receive 12 weeks worth of nicotine inhalers or lozenges as well as patches or gum

B.C. smokers can get free nicotine replacement products for 12 weeks

B.C. smokers can get free nicotine replacement products for 12 weeks

The B.C. government’s quit-smoking assistance program is now available to people who drop by a pharmacy to qualify for free nicotine replacement products.

As of Jan. 1, 2016, participants no longer have to register by calling 8-1-1 to reach the HealthLinkBC medical advice service. The program has also expanded its offerings to include nicotine inhalers and lozenges as well as gum and patches.

Health Minister Terry Lake said the changes are to make it easier for smokers to quit, or to try again if they have relapsed after using the program before. It supplies 12 weeks’ worth of nicotine replacement products in each calendar year to B.C. residents.

To qualify, people must have active Medical Services Plan coverage and be a tobacco smoker or chewer.

The program began in 2011 and the province has spent $38 million on it so far. A survey of 3,000 users in 2015 found that about one in four reported quitting smoking for some period, with half of those making it a month or more smoke free. Three quarters of survey participants reported smoking less after using nicotine replacement.

The program also covers 12 weeks of prescription drugs Zyban or Champix, with cost depending on coverage under the Pharmacare program. Details are available here or from your doctor.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lisa Batstone’s appeal of her conviction and sentence for the killing of her eight-year-old daughter is set for Jan. 12, 2021. (File photos)
South Surrey mother’s murder-appeal date set

Lisa Batstone is appealing her conviction and sentence in death of eight-year-old daughter

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Blaine inn owner’s challenge of immigration act fails

Robert Boule’s trial on human-smuggling charges set to begin August 2021

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

FILE – A near empty waterfront train platform is pictured in downtown Vancouver, Monday, April 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
TransLink disables some services for second day due to ‘suspicious network activity’

Customers cannot use credit card or debit card at fare gates or Compass card vending machines

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:14 a.m.
Westbound Highway 1 lanes in Abbotsford closed as crews investigate serious crash

Crash occurred between McCallum and Riverside roads at around 4 a.m., next update at 8 a.m.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

Most Read