More and more northern smokers trying to quit

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

That's up from almost 6 per cent by January, 5.6 per cent after 7 weeks and 4.5 per cent in the first week. Considering the north represents just over 6 per cent of the province, it's clear residents are increasingly looking to stop smoking.

In the 2010 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, Northeast B.C. recorded a smoker rate of 23.1 percent, much higher than the provincial average of 14.3 per cent, the lowest in the country. However, that number was down significantly from 2009, as the average rate was recorded at 33.1 per cent.

Across B.C. 149,899 orders smoking cessation products have been placed through the Smoking Cessation Program. The province is providing eligible B.C. residents with a single continuous course of treatment lasting up to 12 consecutive weeks with either a prescription smoking cessation drug or an NRT product once every calendar year. As part of the smoking cessation program, varenicline (Champix) and bupropion (Zyban) are also covered by B.C. PharmaCare and are available with a prescription. People will need to see their doctor for a prescription and be registered in a PharmaCare plan to receive coverage for these products. The level of coverage will depend on a person's PharmaCare plan.

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To register for the program call 8-1-1 or go online to www.quitnow.ca.

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