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Drug abuse council wants smoking addiction meds subsidised

Published:Monday | August 19, 2013 | 8:38 AM

The National Council on Drug Abuse is moving to have medications used to treat nicotine addiction added to the list of subsidised drugs offered by the government.



Michael Tucker, the executive director of the Council, says the decision is part of efforts to ease the burden on those who want to quit smoking.



The National Council on Drug Abuse is leading the government’s cessation programme under the smoking ban.



The programme is free to participants but Tucker says the cost and availability of the drugs used to treat smoking addiction is a challenge.



He says given that smoking causes several other illness, it would be useful of have the drugs that treats nicotine addiction available to Jamaicans free of cost or at a minimal cost.



Under the cessation programme, persons wishing to quit smoking receive individualized treatment which includes counselling and medication.



Tucker says persons can enroll at any of the 30 treatment centres across Jamaica which are staffed with medical specialists.



The ban on smoking in public spaces has been in effective since July 15.



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