News

B.C. smokers offered free patches, gum

Premier Christy Clark - Black Press
Premier Christy Clark
— image credit: Black Press

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.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
BCTF touts deal in email to members
 
BCTF executive recommends six-year teacher deal (VIDEO)
 
Family issues appeal to find Crystal Ratvay of Abbotsford
Dianne Watts on a new track
 
If teacher deal accepted, back to class Monday for Surrey and Delta students
 
Delta Police chief to retire
Surrey mayoral candidate pledges to relocate trains
 
Police search for missing Surrey teen
 
Fire tears through North Delta sawmill

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.