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Manitoba launches ‘social impact bond’ to help thousands quit smoking

Click to play video: 'Manitoba launches ‘social impact bond’ to help thousands quit smoking' Manitoba launches ‘social impact bond’ to help thousands quit smoking
The province is launching a program teaming specialized pharmacists with smokers to help them quit – Apr 1, 2022

The province is launching a new program to help Manitobans quit smoking.

The Quit Smoking with Your Manitoba Pharmacist program has pharmacists with specialized training work with smokers to help them quit.

Read more: Manitoba government, pharmacy chain team up to help people quit smoking

“This social impact bond is the first of its kind in Manitoba and a unique opportunity to support people throughout our province as they become non-smokers,” said Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard.

“About 220,000 Manitobans currently smoke, causing short-term and long-term health effects for themselves and those around them. 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.”

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The social impact bond is expected to enroll up to 4,500 Manitobans over the span of three years.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba government, pharmacy chain team up to help people quit smoking' Manitoba government, pharmacy chain team up to help people quit smoking
Manitoba government, pharmacy chain team up to help people quit smoking – Jan 8, 2020

Initial funding for the project comes from Shoppers Drug Mart, which will invest $2 million. If the social impact bond is successful, the government will give up to $2.12 million.

Success will be measured by the number of participants who quit smoking for at least a year and stay away from nicotine after two years.

Read more: Canada should take cue from New Zealand on smoking ban, Cancer Society says

“Quitting smoking is difficult and most people need to try more than once to be able to quit successfully,” said Health Minister Audrey Gordon. “The goal of Quit Smoking with Your Manitoba Pharmacist is to increase the success rate of people who are ready to quit by making it convenient to access the right supports and resources at their local pharmacies.”

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The project is estimated to result in provincial health-care savings of more than $1 million per year.

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