Methods and medications

There are many effective ways to quit smoking, and no one way works for everyone. To increase your chances of quitting for good, it’s helpful to know which evidence-based methods have been proven to increase your odds of success. Evidence shows that combining telephone counselling with medications or NRT can increase your chances of successfully quitting. Learn about the various methods and medications to help you determine what will work best for you.

Quit with extra help. Explore our resources and tools to make quitting easier. 

Prescription medications

Prescription medications do not contain nicotine but reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms by affecting how nicotine interacts with your brain. Using quitting medications can increase your chances of quitting smoking successfully. It's even more effective when combined with counselling support.

Nicotine replacement therapy

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) works by providing the body with nicotine to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. NRT is one of the most effective tools to help people quit and can increase your chances of quit success. It's even more effective when combined with counselling.
How to access coverage for NRT in BC
The PharmaCare BC Smoking Cessation Program provides a 12 week supply of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. (See above for how to access subsidized prescription medications like varenicline (Champix®) or bupropion (Zyban® ).

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

What is covered:

Each calendar year, eligible BC residents can receive coverage for up to 3 months (continuous) of any of the following NRTs:

  • 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 your fully covered supply of NRT just by visiting your local pharmacy. Both you and the pharmacist must sign a declaration form. You do not need a prescription from your doctor.

Note: However, you may want to talk to your pharmacist or doctor to determine what is 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 fully covered NRT who:

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

Visit PharmaCare's BC Smoking Cessation website.

Other methods

There are other quit methods and approaches that people use to quit, but some are more effective than others. Read more about which methods will increase your likelihood of quitting in the long run.