Quitting Smoking and how your pharmacist can help
Pharmacists now have the authority to prescribe medications for people who wish to quit smoking.
- Prescribe to help you quit
One of the ways pharmacists can help you quit smoking tobacco is by prescribing medications such as champix or bupropion.
- Offer guidance with over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy
Over-the-counter therapies such as the patch, gum, inhaler, lozenge, spray can help you reduce to quit. Consult your pharmacist to find out if one of these will work for you.
- Counsel you
The support of your pharmacist improves your chances of quitting. You can set up weekly to monthly counselling sessions with your pharmacist as you work through the cessation program.
- Arm you with tips and tools
Pharmacists have been trained and can equip you with many strategies such as identifying social triggers as well as tactics for dealing with cravings which can help you.
Many people have successfully quit smoking and studies have shown that people are more successful quitting when they combine medication with advice and practical strategies. Research shows that receiving even brief advice can improve your chances of successfully quitting.
Find a trained Pharmacist in your area
Meet with your pharmacist to review your history of tobacco use, as well as your current health, and your objectives with the program. From that discussion, you and your pharmacist will develop a tailored program that fits best with your personal needs and goals. This list was created in partnership with the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency and is not restricted to PAS pharmacists.
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FAQs for Tobacco Cessation
I am interested in quitting tobacco use. What programs do you offer?
Pharmacists in Saskatchewan use the PACT program to advance a patients' success in long-term abstinence. The program provides for an effective combination of interventions tailored for you in consultation with your pharmacist. These interventions may include medications, brief advice, or motivational counselling that offers tips to stay the course and practical strategies such as avoiding triggers to relapse.
Do all pharmacies offer tobacco cessation services?
Not all pharmacies offer this service.
Use this list to find a pharmacist in your area trained to assist you in quitting tobacco smoking.
How do I enroll in a tobacco cessation program through my pharmacist?
Stop by your local pharmacy and let your pharmacist know you'd like to begin tobacco cessation therapy.
Once I sign up for tobacco cessation services at my pharmacy, what's next – what can I expect?
Meet with your pharmacist to review your history with tobacco use, as well as your current health, and your objectives with the program. From that discussion, you and your pharmacist will develop a tailored program that fits best with your personal needs and goals.
What do pharmacy tobacco cessation services cost me?
Eligible patients may have access to services that are paid for by the government. Talk to your pharmacist about your eligibility for tobacco cessation services.
Is my pharmacist able to prescribe medications to help me quit?
Yes, your pharmacist is trained in the science and clinical use of more than 20,000 medications. They can help you select the drug therapy that will be right for you, and recommend and prescribe a medication to help you quit if you are a suitable candidate.
Are there medications that are available without a prescription?
Yes, there are non-prescription options. You and your pharmacist can work together on the plan that is best suited to your needs and objectives for long-term smoking cessation.
How much will tobacco cessation medications cost me?
Talk to your pharmacist about your eligibility through your provincial, employer-based and supplemental private insurance.
What happens if I relapse once I've entered the tobacco cessation program?
It is important to understand that changing a longstanding habitual use of tobacco is challenging. Don't give up. Talk with your pharmacist. The two of you may make changes to your program that can help you quit for good.
What kind of training do pharmacists take to offer tobacco cessation counselling services?
Pharmacists are experts in the science and clinical use of more than 20,000 medications, and they have a long track record of helping patients stop using tobacco products. In addition, Pharmacists can take enriched supplementary courses to ensure that pharmacists are using current best practices in tobacco cessation services for patients.
have heard that e-cigarettes and vaping can help me quit. Can my pharmacist help me if I would like to try this option as part of my program?
E-cigarettes and vaping are not offered as one of the smoking cessation remedies. However, according to Health Canada, if you are a smoker, vaping is less harmful than smoking, and replacing cigarette smoke with vaping will reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. There are risks associated with vaping nicotine. To learn more about the risks, visit the Health Canada site.
I would like to help a family member quit using tobacco. How can my pharmacist help me with this?
Individuals who use tobacco must feel a strong desire to quit, however, friends and family can support that effort in a variety of ways. Your pharmacist can provide resources to family members around ways they can support those who are quitting tobacco use. Since every patient has a unique history and experience with tobacco use, it is important that patients are willing to work with their support networks and their pharmacist on a plan tailored for their needs and objectives.
Consider your personal reasons to quit
List your Top 10 Reasons to Quit and highlights the reason that is most important to you. Keep the list with your tobacco as a reminder of why you are considering quitting.
Resources and Links
The Smokers Helpline is a resource that can be used in conjunction with pharmacists counsel and prescribing for those who wish to quit smoking tobacco. The Helpline is working on a new project called Talk Tobacco which focuses on ways to help Indigenous Peoples quit commercial tobacco. Talk Tobacco uses traditional culture and language to help clients quit commercial tobacco.
Take a look at the videos below for more information on new offerings of The Smokers Helpline or visit their website. The Smokers' Helpline is currently offering a free trial of NRTs. To find more information on the offer, contact the helpline.
Quit Support for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Communities
Benefits of Quitting
medSask or call 1-800-665-DRUG (3784)