Sina Health Centre

Smoking Cessation Services

Thinking about quitting smoking? We are a proud partner in your health and we can help you quit smoking and conduct regular follow up with you to ensure you are on track to meet your goals! Sina Pharmacy offers smoking cessation services. You may be eligible to receive them as a covered benefit through the BC PharmaCare Smoking Cessation program. See below for more details.

Estimated Six-month Abstinence Rates for Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapy

Intervention Estimated Abstinence Rates at 6 Months
Nicotine gum 19%
Nicotine patch 23.7%
Nicotine inhaler 24.8%
Nicotine lozenge 19.9%
Bupropion 24.2%
Bupropion plus nicotine patch 28.9%
Nicotine patch plus as-needed inhaler or gum or lozenge (average) 29.7%
Varenicline 1 mg BID 33.2%
Varenicline 0.5 mg BID 25.4%

Reference: Minor Ailments: Psychiatric Conditions: Smoking Cessation. Kristine Petrasko and Manjit Bains. April 2013.

Treatment Option 1:

Prescription smoking cessation drugs:

PharmaCare covers two prescription smoking cessation drugs:

  • bupropion (brand name Zyban®)
  • varenicline (brand name Champix®)

by onPharmaCare covers these drugs the same way it covers other prescription drugs. To get coverage for them, you have to be registered for Fair PharmaCare* or covered e of the following PharmaCare plans:

Fair PharmaCare is the income-based plan for which any B.C. resident can register.

Each calendar year, PharmaCare will cover one prescription smoking cessation drug for a single continuous course of treatment. A course of treatment lasts up to 12 weeks (84 days) in a row.

What you have to do :

You will have to be covered under a PharmaCare plan. Most people need to register for Fair PharmaCare. Registration is free and there are no premiums to pay. Most people are already registered for Fair PharmaCare. If you are not sure whether you’re already registered, phone Health Insurance BC. They can help you register.

When you are already seeing your doctor for another medical reason, ask about a prescription for these drugs. Depending on your medical history, your doctor may prescribe one of these drugs or may recommend that you take neither drug. Instead, your doctor may recommend you try nicotine replacement therapy products or some other smoking cessation strategy.

If your doctor recommends that you take a prescription drug, he/she will give you a prescription that you can fill at our pharmacy. Your doctor will also give you advice on how best to take the drug to improve your chances of quitting tobacco.

Treatment Option 2:

Non-prescription nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products:

The B.C. Smoking Cessation Program covers 2 strengths of the Thrive™ nicotine chewing gum and 3 strengths of the Habitrol® nicotine patches. Each calendar year, eligible B.C. residents can receive one nicotine therapy product (either nicotine gum or nicotine patches) at no cost for a single continuous course of treatment. A course of treatment lasts up to 12 weeks (84 days) in a row.

What you have to do:

You can get nicotine gum or patches at your Pharmacy. You do not have to be registered in a PharmaCare plan to receive coverage for the gum or patches.

You may want to talk to your pharmacist first to determine whether you should take NRT products. You may need to check with your pharmacist before registering for NRT coverage if you

  • are pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any chronic medical conditions
  • were recently in the hospital
  • take any regular medications

You will have to register for the program with HealthLink BC by calling 8-1-1 to get coverage for the nicotine gum or patches. Once you have registered, you can choose to either have the products mailed directly to you, or pick them up at your local pharmacy. The mail option will take from 5 to 10 business days, depending on where you live. You can get your nicotine gum or patches right away when you pick them up at a pharmacy.

A detailed diagram of the process is available here.