Image No Smoking – Uploaded by chris@APL

Manitoba will begin covering the cost of a drug called Champix to help smokers quit. The move is part of the NDP’s promise to put $5 million annually (2% of tobacco revenue) to support people who want to quit smoking.

To be eligible, you must get a prescription written by a physician. The cost of Champix will be covered by pharmacare once the income-based family deductible has been met.

Deaths from smoking and second-hand smoke

Smoking contributes to more than 37,000 deaths a year in Canada, of which almost 11,000 are heart disease and stroke-related (29% of all smoking-related deaths are heart disease and stroke-related). 21

Almost 6,300 non-smokers die each year from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Smoking is responsible for 14.54% of all heart disease and stroke deaths.

If current rates of tobacco use continue, approximately 1 million Canadians will die over the next 20 years as a direct result of smoking and second-hand smoke.22

Becoming smoke-free

As soon as an individual quits smoking, the risk of heart disease and stroke begins to decrease.

Within one year of quitting, the risk of dying from smoking-related heart disease is cut in half.

Within 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.

After 15 years, the risk of dying will be nearly that of a non-smoker.

More than 50% of former smokers report they are able to become smoke-free after one or two serious attempts.

The percentage of people who remain smoke-free after one year of quitting ranges from 5% to 18%.