VANCOUVER, May 9 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society B.C. and Yukon
today welcomed the provincial government's decision to fund smoking
cessation products and nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) for B.C.
smokers trying to quit. B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced nicotine
replacement therapies will be made available to smokers at no cost and
that the price of smoking cessation prescription drugs will be covered
under PharmaCare as of September 30, 2011
"The BC government has taken a significant step forward for cancer
prevention and our fight against tobacco," said Cathy Adair,
Vice-President of Cancer Control, Canadian Cancer Society BC & Yukon.
"Fighting cancer takes a community effort and we want to thank Premier
Clark and Health Minister Michael de Jong for their leadership. We look
forward to working with them in the coming months to implement this
plan and other measures to protect BC families from cancer."
British Columbia will join three other Canadian provinces - Quebec,
Saskatchewan, and Ontario - that pay for smoking cessation products.
Each year, more than 6,000 British Columbians die from tobacco use and
the cost to the B.C. economy is approximately $2.3 billion annually.
"B.C. has the best cancer outcomes in the country and lowest smoking
rates in the country, however, the fact is 12-15 per cent of the
population continues to smoke," says Adair. "This step will go a
tremendous way to reducing further the number of people who end up
fighting lung cancer."
Tobacco is recognized as a major cause of cancer, accounting for more
than 85 per cent of lung cancers in Canada. Lung cancer remains the
leading cause of cancer death for both men and women - in 2011, 26 per
cent of all cancer deaths will be attributed to lung cancer in B.C.
"Tobacco use remains the largest single preventable cause of death and
disease in British Columbia," says Adair. "NRT combined with physician
counselling has a proven track record of treating tobacco addiction.
For a small upfront cost, the province will get an incredible return in
the form of a healthier population."
Established in 1938, the CCS is as a national charity that provides
valuable cancer information services, funds research and educates
Canadians on cancer risks. In BC and the Yukon, the Society works with
approximately 20,000 volunteers in close to 100 communities.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (BC and Yukon Division)
For further information:
Manager, Media Relations
Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division
Direct line: 604.675.7340 Cell: 604.837.5643