B.C. smokers offered free patches, gum

Premier Christy Clark

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

Carey Newman resigned from the Greater Victoria School District’s Indigenous Ad Hoc Committee May 13, citing ‘a pattern of systemic racism.’ (Black Press Media file photo)
‘Pattern of systemic racism’: SD61 Indigenous committee member resigns, calls for change

More than 350 people had added their names in support by midday Friday

The woman also received distracted driving tickets in 2018 and 2019. (Black Press File Photo)
Oak Bay driver gets third distracted driving ticket in four years

Officer caught the woman using her phone while at the wheel

Sooke RCMP are asking for the public’s help in finding Jeremy Tinnion after he was last seen in leaving a Sooke shelter on May 13. (Photo courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
MISSING: Jeremy Tinnion last seen in Sooke on May 13

The 31-year-old was last seen by staff members as he was leaving an Otter Point Road shelter

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read