Monday, December 19, 2022 - An expanded program aimed at helping Manitobans who make the choice to quit smoking is now available provincewide, providing counselling, nicotine replacement medications and other supports.
The TQCC program builds on the success of a pilot conducted in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Southern Health-Santé Sud and Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority by expanding access to nicotine replacement therapy in those regions and to Manitobans in all regions of the province. Participants are provided with a quit card that can be used to redeem up to $300 in nicotine replacement medications (patches, gum, lozenges, inhaler and oral mist) at any pharmacy in the province, as well as counselling sessions with a health professional.
To be eligible for the program, individuals are required to meet the following criteria:
be a resident of Manitoba (participants may need to be a patient of a participating clinic);
must not have insurance to cover nicotine replacement products (nicotine patches, gum and other aids) or find it difficult to afford these medications; and
be ready to make a quit attempt within 30 days.
“Programs like the TQCC work because they encourage people who smoke and their providers to discuss smoking cessation and include using nicotine replacement medications and counselling to successfully quit smoking,” said Olsen Jarvis, a respiratory therapist who delivers the TQCC program. “If anyone is interested in or struggling with quitting, they should consider accessing this useful program.”
Individuals who are not eligible for the quit card may still be eligible to receive individual counselling sessions through the Commit to Quit online group, which teaches Manitobans about triggers, setting realistic goals, and tools to successfully stop smoking.
Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for chronic disease and remains the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it is also the most significant risk factor for cancer, causing about 45,000 deaths annually.
“The TQCC program works because it is a combination of proven methods of commercial tobacco cessation,” said John McDonald, executive director, Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance. “Utilizing appropriate nicotine replacement therapy along with supportive counselling has been shown to yield the best chance for individuals to quit smoking.”
For more information on the Tobacco Quit Card and Counselling program, visit https://sharedhealthmb.ca/patient-care/quit-smoking/.