B.C. smokers offered free patches, gum

Premier Christy Clark

B.C. smokers who want to quit can get 12 weeks worth of nicotine gum or patches starting in September.

Premier Christy Clark announced the program in Vancouver Monday, making good on another one of the promises made in her campaign for the leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party.

The program will cover prescription anti-smoking therapies through PharmaCare. The government estimates it will cost between $15 million and $25 million annually, depending on how many smokers take advantage of it.

The B.C. health ministry estimates that 6,000 people die each year from cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related illness. The cost to the B.C. economy is approximately $2.3 billion annually, including $605 million for direct health-care costs.

Clark said the province also collects $682 million in revenue from tobacco taxes, and some of that should be used to help people break their tobacco addiction.

The health ministry will work withthe B.C. Lung Association, the Heart & Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon, the Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. Pharmacy Association, pharmaceutical manufacturers, health authorities and the B.C. Medical Association on the method to implement the program.

“Quitting cold turkey can be tough, and quit smoking aids can help people not only quit but also prevent them having a relapse and starting to smoke again,” said Scott McDonald, CEO of the B.C. Lung Association.

Just Posted

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

Time-lapse video shows weekend work on McKenzie Interchange project

Construction crews place concrete underpass bridge beams

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read