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One more hurdle removed for B.C. smokers hoping to quit in 2016

VANCOUVER — The B.C. government is making it easier for smokers who want to kick the habit in 2016.

Health Minister Terry Lake says starting Jan. 1, anyone who wants to quit no longer needs to call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to join the province's smoking cessation program.

Lake says smokers can sign up at any pharmacy and have access to free nicotine replacement therapy products.

Options include nicotine lozenges, inhalers, gum, the nicotine skin patch, as well as specific prescription drugs.

B.C. Pharmacy Association CEO Geraldine Vance says pharmacists are committed to helping patients lead healthier lives and want to assist smokers with making 2016 the year they quit successfully.

The smoking cessation program began in 2011 and the province says it has invested more than $38-million since then, helping more than 187,000 people try to kick the habit.

The Canadian Press

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