11/09/2012 06:31 EST | Updated 01/09/2013 05:12 EST

N.L. group wants provincial funds to help people on low incomes quit smoking

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association is calling on the provincial government to help low-income residents quit smoking.

Tony Gabriel of the association says Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick are the only provinces in the country that don't offer financial assistance for therapies to quit smoking.

Gabriel says the cost would be less than the millions spent every year treating smoking-related illnesses.

He says as long as prescription drugs and nicotine replacement therapies are not available under the province's prescription drug program, the cost will remain prohibitive to low income smokers trying to quit.