Smokers can now access proven combination therapy with addition of 
NICORETTE® Patch to Quebec Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan

MONTREAL, Dec. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebec residents seeking to quit smoking now have greater access to the support they need, as the Régie de l'assurance maladie Quebec (RAMQ) has announced the decision to list the NICORETTE® Patch for reimbursement. Now Quebecers, aged 18 and over, can use NICORETTE® Gum 2mg in combination with the NICORETTE® Patch - an approach that is clinically proven to increase the chance of quitting versus using either alone.1

"Each year, more than 13,000 people in Quebec die prematurely because of smoking, and an even greater number of people develop life-changing health conditions,"2 said Martine Robert, a nurse who specializes in tobacco control. "By adding the NICORETTE® Patch to the provincial formulary, the Quebec government is providing access to clinically proven combination therapy that can help overcome the cravings that make quitting so difficult."

While NICORETTE® Gum (2mg and 4mg) and the NICODERM® Patch have been covered by the Quebec government since October 1, 2000, the NICORETTE® Patch was not previously funded. The NICORETTE® Patch is the only patch approved for use in combination therapy - a combined approach to quitting that involves using a patch plus 2 mg gum. Patients are instructed to wear a NICORETTE® 16 hour Patch that offers controlled release of nicotine throughout the day in combination with NICORETTE® Gum 2 mg to help manage tough cravings.

By further combining NICORETTE® products with the psychological support provided by the ACTIVESTOP™ program - a free, 14 week online program at that breaks down the quitting process into manageable daily steps - smokers can double their chances of success than going it alone.

"Every smoker is different and may have different needs in a smoking-cessation treatment. For some, a single form of nicotine replacement therapy may be enough. For others, having controlled nicotine release with the NICORETTE® Patch combined with Gum to help with the tough cravings can mean the difference between relapse and success," said Martine Robert."By creating access to more funded treatment options, we are one step closer to a smoke-free Quebec."

Many Canadians want to quit smoking but struggle to become smoke-free. In fact, a recent Angus Reid Public Opinion survey indicated three-quarter of smokers (75 per cent) have tried to quit more than once and failed.2 In addition, the majority of smokers from Quebec (66 per cent) indicated that they smoke more than 16 cigarettes per day3 - that's 112 cigarettes, or almost five king-size packs, per week.

Quebec residents with questions on whether NICORETTE® is right for them are encouraged to ask their pharmacist or doctor for advice and always read the label to see if the product is right for them. To receive the NICORETTE® Patch or Gum funded through the RAMQ formulary, a prescription is required. For counseling and support, call 1-866-311-5655.

About McNeil Consumer Healthcare products
NICORETTE® and NICODERM® are marketed and distributed in Canada by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc.  McNeil Consumer Healthcare markets a broad range of well-known over-the-counter (OTC) products around the globe. 

1 Quebec Lung Association. Your guide to smoking cessation. Accessed on November 19, 2010.
2  NICORETTE® Survey. Angus Reid Public Opinion and McNeil Consumer Healthcare. February 2010.
3 Ibid.

SOURCE Johnson & Johnson

For further information: For further information:

Marie-Eve Genereux
(514) 844-6665 ext. 233    

Tina Peyregatt
Johnson & Johnson Inc.
(905) 968-2028

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