How to access free NRT and medications in BC

There are two options for accessing medications through the BC Smoking Cessation Program:

Option 1:  Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

What is covered:

Each calendar year, eligible B.C. residents can receive a up to 3 months (continuous) of any of the following NRTs for free:

  • Nicorette® gum (2 mg, 4 mg)
  • Nicorette® lozenges (2 mg, 4 mg)
  • Nicoderm® patch (7 mg, 14 mg, 21 mg)
  • Nicorette® inhaler (10 mg)

How to get it:

You now can get free NRT just by visiting your local pharmacy. Both you and the pharmacist must sign a declaration form.  You do not need to be registered with Pharamacare and don't need a prescription from your doctor.

Note: However, you may want to talk to your pharmacist or doctor to determine whether they are the best choice for you. This is especially important if you:

  • are pregnant
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any chronic medical conditions
  • were recently in the hospital
  • take any regular medications

Who is eligible:

Any British Columbian is eligible to receive free NRT who:

  1. smokes or uses another tobacco product
  2. is currently enrolled with the Medical Services Plan of BC (MSP)

For more information:

Visit the provincial government's BC Smoking Cessation website.

Option 2: Prescription Drugs

What is covered:

PharmaCare will cover one of two types of drugs:

  • Bupropion (brand name Zyban®)
  • Varenicline (brand name Champix®)

You can get coverage for 12 weeks of either of these drugs but coverage is based on your income level and Pharmacare Plan.

People who are on Pharmacare Plan B, C, or G are totally covered for the full cost of the prescription. Those eligible for Fair Pharmacare may have to pay part or all of the cost.

How to get it:

Take a prescription from your doctor to the pharmacy of your choice. Your will be asked to sign a Declaration form.

Who is eligible?

Prescription drug coverage is available to any BC resident who:

  • smokes or uses another tobacco product
  • is currently enrolled with MSP
  • is covered by an eligible PharmaCare plan

For more information:

For more information about your eligibility, call PharmaCare from Vancouver at 604-683-7151 and from the rest of BC, call toll-free at 1-800-663-7100.

Register for Fair PharmaCare either online or by phoning Health Insurance BC. Registration is free and there are no premiums to pay.