WINNIPEG — A new quit smoking initiative will utilize the help of pharmacists to get Manitobans to butt out for good.
The province on Friday announced the Quit Smoking with Your Manitoba Pharmacist social impact bond, which expects to enrol up to 4,500 people over a three-year period.
“About 220,000 Manitobans currently smoke, causing short-term and long-term health effects for themselves and those around them,” said Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard.
“The costs of smoking — to the individual and their health and to our health-care system as a whole — are significant. Manitoba is a proud partner in this initiative and the positive benefits it will have for thousands of people.”
Under the social impact bond model, Shoppers Drug Mart will invest $2 million. If outcomes are met or exceeded, the company will receive up to $2.12 million from the Manitoba government.
Trained pharmacists will offer an initial assessment for those 18 and over, while providing smoking cessation tools and support. The success of the program will be measured by the number of people who quit smoking for at least 12 months and continued after 24 months.
Follow-up counselling sessions and up to $100 worth of prescribed medications and nicotine replacement therapies will be offered over one year to support individuals trying to quit smoking.
The province expects to save more than $1 million per year in health-care costs as a result of the program.
A list of participating pharmacies can be found at QuitSmokingMB.ca.
Watch Friday’s news conference: