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 Telehealth Ontario toll free at 1-866-797-0000 or toll-free TTY at 1-866-797-0007, or the number on your cigarette pack to see if there are programs to help you.
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. The medication may be available to you at no cost if you are eligible for either:
- The Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) plan
- The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program for First Nations or Inuit.
- The Community Service Locator at https://csl.cancer.ca will help you find and access other services. Tip: Type the word tobacco into their search bar to find resources in your area.
Talk to your healthcare provider to see if these medications may be helpful for you.