Never Quit Quitting! A smokers challenge

Senior Tobacco Reduction Coordinator with Interior Health Trish Hill shares information about quitting smoking.

  • Dec. 6, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Trish Hill

Senior Tobacco Reduction Coordinator with Interior Health.

“I need the patch, but I am having trouble getting through on the phone to sign up!” Ian (not his real name) said. The 42 year old construction worker, a smoker since age 16, was finding it difficult to register with the new BC Smoking Cessation program. “Don’t give up!” I said, sympathetically.

The new provincial program that provides coverage for stop-smoking aids to British Columbians has been wildly popular since its launch on September 30. It makes sense. Smokers have said for years that the cost of smoking cessation medications is one of the biggest barriers to quitting. Now that the province is helping to offset the costs people are signing up in droves. Unfortunately that success has meant waiting a little to get through to HealthLinkBC  but wait times are getting shorter, especially in the evenings between 7 and 10 p.m., and on weekends.

How does it work? By calling HealthlinkBC at 811, people can register to receive up to twelve weeks of free nicotine patches or gum per year. Or, they can access PharmaCare coverage for medications like Zyban or Champix, with a doctor’s prescription. People don’t need to call 811 to register for the prescription drugs. The actual financial coverage depends on their PharmaCare plan.

So is a patch or pill a magic bullet? It’s always a good idea to discuss medications with your doctor. But research shows that when a person is ready to quit, stop-smoking medications can double the chances of success. And they’re even more effective when used in combination with counselling or other supports.

That’s where QuitNow Services fits in. QuitNow is free, confidential and available 24/7. People can join an online community forum with other quitters, get confidential advice by phone or sign up to receive quit tips by text.  QuitNow and HealthLinkBC have partnered to ensure a seamless customer experience between the two services, with good results. In the first seven weeks, more than 7000 people have been engaged with QuitNow Services through the phone, web or text messaging.

Ian phoned me again with an update. “Calling in the evening worked,” he said. He now had a reference number to take to his local pharmacy, and will pick up his patches this weekend. “Great news,” I said, “and remember, however you decide to go about it, never quit quitting!”

For more information visit HealthLinkBC at www.healthlinkbc.ca, Pharmacare at www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare or QuitNow Services at: www.quitnow.ca

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It’s important to be sure how to use your equipment appropriately when in the backcountry. (File photo)
Backcountry Safe seeks to start safety dialogue

The group is hoping that people will learn from their mistakes

Masks are now mandatory in public places in B.C. under new provincial public gathering restrictions. (Claire Palmer photo)
Physicians of Golden support mask mandate

Dr. Larsen Soles says that there is still time to get the rising numbers under control

The process to bring a community forest to Golden is still ongoing. (File photo)
Local group works to bring community forest to Golden

The group will be working in cooperation with local First Nations groups

Business district is pictured during a traffic jam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Morning Start: By 2050, 95 percent of North Jakarta could be submerged

Your morning start for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Revelstoke RCMP warn of scam after two people targeted in one day. (Black Press file photo)
RCMP warn of scammer pulling at heart strings

Two people in Revelstoke targeted in one day by person posing as a loved one

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP investigate suspected arson at Shuswap hunting camp

Suspicious fire took place by Scotch Creek forest service road on Oct. 24

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

St. James Anglican Church, Armstrong, B.C. (Google Maps).
Prayer at North Okanagan council meetings a violation of religious neutrality: study

New study found 23 municipalities held prayer sessions at inaugural meetings in 2018, in violation of a Supreme Court decision

A worker at Kelowna Airport has tested positive for COVID-19. (File)
Kelowna airport worker tests positive for COVID-19

Individual, who works as a screener, was asked to self-isolate, at which time they tested positive

An assault charge has been filed after a 10-year-old boy was allegedly struck with a watermelon at a Shuswap campsite in August . (File photo)
Alberta woman facing assault charge after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Shuswap campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

A Shuswap couple reported having fallen victim to a family emergency telephone scam. (File image)
Shuswap couple fall victim to family emergency scam

Person claiming to be couple’s son said he was injured and in jail

Most Read