For Tobacco Users with Cancer
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) comes in many forms including patches, gum, lozenges, mouth spray and inhalers. Using NRT can increase your chance of quitting by reducing nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. NRT is sold in pharmacies and some stores. You do not need a prescription. If cost is an issue, talk to your healthcare provider, public health unit or Smokers’ Helpline at 1-877-513-5333 to see if there are programs to help you. Smokers’ Helpline offers trial packs of Nicorette gum to people who qualify and can help connect you to other free sources of NRT in the community.
NRT costs less than cigarettes. Some private insurance or benefit plans will pay for your NRT such as the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NHB) Program for First Nations and Inuit.
Non-nicotine prescription medications may also be options. Two prescription drugs are available to help reduce nicotine cravings and prevent relapse: varenicline (Champix*) and bupropion (Zyban*). These drugs require a prescription from a doctor, nurse practitioner or pharmacist and may be available to you if you are eligible for either:
- The Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) plan
- The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program for First Nations or Inuit.
Talk to your healthcare provider to see if these medications may be helpful for you.
Explore the support that is available to you. When paired with medication, it triples your chance of success.