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Government Expands Quit Smoking Program

The provincial government is expanding the BC Smoking Cessation Program.

Starting on January 1st, people can go to any local pharmacy to register for the program, rather than calling 8-1-1.

“Quitting the habit is the single biggest thing they can do to improve their health,” says Health Minister Terry Lake.

“So we’re trying to make it as easy as possible to make sure that they can get into our smoking cessation program and go to their pharmacist directly.”

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The Ministry of Health also held a request for proposals from interested suppliers to expand the products offered.

“We’ve expanded to options to include nicotine gum, lozenges, and inhalers or the patch, as well as some medical approaches through their physicians,” Lake said.

Since it began in 2011, the Province has invested more than $38 million into the program.

More than 187,000 have used the program to try to quit- accounting for 25% of British Columbians who smoke.

“We’ve cooperated closely with the Smoking Cessation Program for years, helping people get the support they need to quit. These changes are smart improvements to an already effective program,” said Scott McDonald, CEO of the B.C. Lung Association.

“After people pick up their free nicotine replacement products, I encourage them to contact Quit Now, our free support program for people trying to quit smoking or other tobacco use.”

(Files from Cami Kepke with MyPrinceGeorgeNow)

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