Letter: Funding nicotine therapy?

Editor:

The Canadian Cancer Society B.C. is calling on the provincial government and Liberal leadership candidates to support smokers who wish to quit by funding nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). During National Non-smoking Week, the B.C. government can reassert the province’s leadership position in tobacco control. Smoking cessation products help smokers quit. NRT, such as the nicotine patch and gum, combined with physician counseling, have a proven record of treating tobacco addiction. Similar improvements in quitting result from medication that help reduce cravings. Tobacco use remains the largest single preventable cause of death and disease in B.C., killing over 6,000 British Columbians each year. Tobacco use is estimated to cost the economy $2.3 billion annually and causes 30 per cent of all cancer deaths and 85 per cent of lung cancer cases. We commend the B.C. government for continuing to fund QuitNow.ca and QuitNow by Phone, free smoking cessation programs, that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, if we know that smoking is an addiction, we should also help pay for treatment.

Phil Janzen, Board Director, Canadian Cancer Society BC & Yukon and Patti Moore, Health Promo Coordinator