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.
How to access subsidized prescription medications in BC
The PharmaCare BC Smoking Cessation Program helps with the cost of prescription medications like varenicline (Champix®) or bupropion (Zyban®). See below for how to access fully covered, non-prescription NRT.

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 up to 12 weeks of either of these drugs. Coverage is based on your income level and Pharmacare plan.

People who are on Pharmacare plan B, C, W or G are covered for the full cost of the prescription. Those registered 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:

Visit the PharmaCare BC Smoking Cessation website.

For more information about your eligibility, call PharmaCare from the Lower Mainland 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: from the Lower Mainland call at 604-683-7151 and from the rest of BC, call toll-free at 1-800-663-7100. Registration is free and there are no premiums to pay.

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.

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.