Manitoba government teams up with pharmacy chain to help people quit smoking
Province paying Shoppers Drug Mart $2.1 million to provide nicotine gum, counselling
The Manitoba government and a major pharmacy chain are joining together to provide free counselling and products to people who want to quit smoking.
Health Minister Cameron Friesen says the province will pay Shoppers Drug Mart up to $2.1 million to provide counselling and items such as nicotine gum to an estimated 4,500 people.
The government is using a social impact bond, which awards the money to private-sector partners if certain goals are met.
In this case, the goal is to get at least 12 per cent of people who register in the program to kick the habit.
The former NDP government promised to subsidize nicotine patches and other products shortly before it lost the 2016 election.
Friesen says research shows people have a better chance of quitting when they get counselling as well.
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