Provincial Government announces two prescription drugs for quitting smoking to be added to the formulary effective January 1, 2011
Saskatoon, December 23, 2010 – Smoking is an addiction. It’s not a lifestyle choice, behaviour or habit!
The Lung Association of Saskatchewan supports the provincial government’s decision to include two prescription drugs for quitting smoking on the provincial formulary. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Smoking kills 720 people annually in Saskatchewan from lung diseases alone. Having Champix and Zyban on the formulary means that they are eligible for coverage by prescription drug plans. This makes them more accessible, especially to lower income groups, who tend to have higher smoking rates.
“The Lung Association is pleased that the government is assisting people to overcome their addiction to nicotine by making these products more accessible” says Jennifer Miller, Vice-President of Health Education. “It is important that Saskatchewan residents know that there are effective strategies available to help them with nicotine withdrawal and dependence. Good evidence exists that these products effectively treat tobacco addiction. We suggest that people who smoke visit their health care providers to discuss options and to develop individualized treatment plans.”
In addition to the wealth of information on our website at www.sk.lung.ca, The Lung Association has two booklets available: ‘Do You Want To Quit?’ and ‘How Do You Want to Quit?’ They outline the different strategies and methods that are available to assist people in quitting their addiction.
“Many people who smoke have not had access to these products, and this is an important step forward to help those people quit smoking. This measure will also enable physicians to meet their responsibility to provide treatments that are proven to be effective for people addicted to nicotine,” says Dr. Darcy Marciniuk, Head of the Respirology Division at the University of Saskatchewan and an international leader in smoking-related lung diseases.
About The Lung Association
Established in 1911, The Lung Association is Saskatchewan’s oldest health charity. You have come to know and trust The Lung Association as the premier source for lung health in our province. All of our quality educational materials, programs, services and treatment guidelines are based on current evidence-based research. You will find The Lung Association active in communities across Saskatchewan conducting lung disease prevention and management programs that include asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, lung cancer and smoking cessation. The Lung Association also provides training for health care professionals, delivers health education in schools, facilitates patient support groups, and lobbies for clean air.