Recent evaluation of the program’s nicotine replacement therapy shows it helps people attempt to quit, and to be successful.“We’re happy to help people who want to make 2016 the year they quit smoking,” said Geraldine Vance, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association.“Community pharmacists are accessible and committed to helping patients live healthier lives.”The Ministry of Health completed a survey this year of 3,000 smokers who used nicotine replacement therapy as part of the program. More than a quarter of the people surveyed had quit smoking.Advertisement VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. government is helping those who have made a New Years resolution to quit smoking, with easier access to get the tools to quit.As of Jan. 1, 2016, smokers who want to quit can now join the British Columbia Smoking Cessation Program and access free nicotine replacement therapy products just by visiting any community pharmacy in the province.Health Minister Terry Lake said the program was changed to make it easier for people trying to quit, or even trying again.- Advertisement -“I have seen friends and family struggle to break their terrible addiction to cigarettes,” he says. “I hope this improved program helps others avoid the same struggle and the health problems that come from smoking.”Before, people wishing to join the program had to contact HealthLink BC by calling 8-1-1 to get access. Since it began in 2011, the Province has invested more than $38 million into the program. More than 187,000, or 25 per cent of smokers in B.C., have used the program to try to quit.The program is adding more nicotine replacement choices for people trying to quit, too. Smokers now have the option of choosing nicotine lozenges or inhalers, as well as nicotine gum and the nicotine skin patch previously paid for by the program.Advertisement More than half had managed to quit for a month or longer, and three-quarters smoked less after participating in the program. 65 per cent agreed the program helped or is helping them try to quit smoking.The B.C. Government says more than 6,000 British Columbians die from the effects of tobacco use each year, and it is the single most-preventable cause of disease and death in the province.