Quitting Smoking & Tobacco Use

Tobacco-related illness is the leading cause of preventable death in British Columbia. Tobacco use causes up to 6,000 deaths in the province each year; killing more people than all other drugs, motor vehicle collisions, murder, suicide and HIV/AIDS combined (Selected Vital Statistics and Health Status Indicators, Annual Report 2011, Vital Statistics Agency). Health care costs for treatment of tobacco-related illness are estimated to be $2.3 billion each year (The Costs of Substance Abuse in Canada 2002, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse 2006).

If you use tobacco and want to quit, there are several supports available to help you. You may wish to talk with your doctor, counsellor, pharmacist, dentist or another health professional to discuss the health benefits of stopping tobacco use.  As well, two programs provide support to people who are trying to quit smoking or tobacco use:


Support for British Columbians who want to quit smoking or tobacco use is provided 24 hours a day free-of-charge through QuitNow. Go to quitnow.ca or call 1-877-455-2233 to learn more.

B.C. Smoking Cessation Program

The B.C. government’s Smoking Cessation Program helps eligible B.C. residents stop smoking or stop using other tobacco products by assisting them with the cost of quitting aids such as prescription drugs or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products (nicotine gum or patches).

For more information about how the program works, see the program BC PharmaCare website.

Health Authority Contacts

Health authorities work with their communities to increase awareness of the benefits of living tobacco-free.  Residents are encouraged to contact their Health Authority Tobacco Reduction Coordinator for resources to help implement tobacco prevention and cessation programs.