Ready to quit? How your pharmacist can help you achieve your smoking cessation goals

Congratulations on your decision to become a non-smoker!

Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) recipients who smoke are eligible for the free Pharmacy Smoking Cessation Program. This program includes a readiness assessment, a first consultation meeting, and seven follow-up sessions over the course of a year where you will meet one-on-one with a pharmacist who is trained in smoking cessation.

As part of this program, your pharmacist will:

Assess your readiness to quit
Your pharmacist will ask you questions to determine your desire to become a non-smoker. He or she will also use this time to discuss any barriers to quitting. Some people may need more time to reflect on their decision to quit before committing to the program.

Help you create a plan
Your pharmacist will work with you to set a quit date. He or she will discuss smoking triggers and work with you to develop strategies to overcome them. Your pharmacist will also provide you with printed information about the benefits of quitting smoking and may refer you to community and online resources to help your quit smoking efforts.

Recommend or prescribe smoking cessation medications
Your pharmacist will ask about your tobacco use, current medications, and medical history. He or she may discuss over-the-counter or prescription options to help you quit. Nicotine replacement therapy is an over-the-counter option that is available in patch, gum, inhaler, and lozenge forms. Prescription medications such as bupropion and varenicline may also be prescribed by your pharmacist.

Provide ongoing smoking cessation counselling
Your pharmacist will follow-up with you periodically over the year to discuss your progress in quitting smoking.  He or she will discuss any concerns you may have about your therapy and provide encouragement. Your pharmacist can also suggest ways to manage triggers, cravings, or withdrawal symptoms during this time.

Congratulations again on taking the first step to a healthier lifestyle.

For more information, speak to your pharmacist!

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