Smoking Cessation

What is the PEI Smoking Cessation Program?

The PEI Smoking Cessation Program helps PEI residents who wish to stop smoking or using other tobacco products by covering 100% of the cost of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products (i.e., nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, and inhaler) and specific smoking cessation prescription medications.

What treatments are available to help me quit smoking? 

Eligible PEI residents can be covered for one complete course of the following two treatment options:

  • Option 1: Non-Prescription Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Products (patches, gum, lozenges, or inhaler)
  • Option 2: Prescription smoking cessation medication. The program covers two smoking cessation medications: bupropion (brand name Zyban®)    or varenicline (brand name Champix®). 
Once per year, eligible PEI residents can receive a single continuous course (6-18 weeks in a row) of one approved NRT product or smoking cessation medication.

How do I get started?

  1. Make an appointment with a nurse at your nearest Primary Care Network office to discuss how ready you are to quit smoking and the supports available to you.
  2. At your appointment, a nurse will go over the program intake form with you. The intake asks questions about how ready you are to quit smoking and your tobacco use. The intake also lays out a Cessation Action Plan, which describes the recommended treatment to help you quit.
  3. Based on your medical history and past quit attempts, the nurse may suggest that you try a NRT product or a prescription smoking cessation medication.
  4. The nurse will review the guidelines of the PEI Smoking Cessation Program with you; both you and the nurse will sign the intake form.
  5. You will take the Cessation Action Plan (and a prescription* if you choose Treatment Option 2) to your local pharmacy to pick up your products.

* Make an appointment with your primary care provider (i.e., family doctor or nurse practitioner) to get a prescription for this medication. If you do not have a primary care provider, discuss your options for getting a prescription with the nurse.

To find a Primary Care Network near you, click here.

What should I bring when I go to the Pharmacy?

If you have chosen Treatment Option 2 (prescription medication), you must bring your prescription from your primary care provider (i.e., family doctor or nurse practitioner) to the Pharmacy.
When you fill your prescription or pick up your NRT at the pharmacy for the first time, you will be given a 14-day supply. You must return to the pharmacy near the end of your second week of treatment to see the pharmacist; at that time, you will receive your next refill (28-day supply). Following that visit, you will continue to receive a 28-day supply, and then a final 14-day supply to finish your treatment.

Does the program offer any other support to help me quit smoking?

A combination of medication and counselling are known to be a better way to help people quit smoking than either alone. If you would like counselling to help you with your quit attempt, you can make a follow-up appointment with your Primary Care Network nurse.

There are also other options available to support you in quitting smoking, including:

Smoker's Help Line

Call toll-free: 1-877-513-5333 or visit

How many attempts do I get to quit smoking with the program?

It often takes more than one try to stop smoking. That is why you can take part in the PEI Smoking Cessation Program more than once. However, you can only take part in the program once per year (from the date you entered the program).

The PEI Smoking Cessation Program covers a single continuous course (minimum 6 weeks in a row) of NRT or prescription medication. If the PEI Smoking Cessation Program already covered any treatment for you this year (e.g., you used a NRT product for a few weeks and then began smoking again), you are not eligible for more coverage until a year from the date you entered the program.

If you start smoking again in the same year you complete your treatment, you have to wait until the following year to enter the program again. However, you are encouraged to seek support to get ready for your next quit attempt; this will increase your chances of quitting successfully in the future.

More information about the program can be found in Frequently Asked Questions about the PEI Smoking Cessation Program.

Where can I get more information about the PEI Smoking Cessation Program?

Contact the PEI Smoking Cessation Coordinator by email at or by telephone at (902) 368-4319.

Published date: 
January 6, 2023