For those who have “quit smoking” as a New Year’s resolution, the province has made some changes to help.
Minister Terry Lake announced that starting January 1, smokers only have to go to their local pharmacy to sign up for a nicotine replacement program.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible to get into our smoking cessation programs. [They] can go to their pharmacist directly rather than having to call HealthLink BC.”
UBC researcher Gayl Sarbit says it’s a welcome change, adding that it’s one of many strategies to help smokers quit.
“Everybody is an individual and they want to approach it in a different way. We very much support nicotine replacement therapy and I’m very pleased that the government has made it easier now for them to get this.”
Sarbit specifically focuses on helping men quit smoking.
“I think my response to that is not just make a resolution, but to take action. There’s all kinds of choices for men to make; but taking that first step is not just saying I want to quit smoking but actually saying this is what I’m going to do.”
According to the Ministry of Health, tobacco use is the single most-preventable cause of disease and death in British Columbia.