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A smoker holds a cigarette. (Karen Bleier/ AFP/Getty Images/Karen Bleier/ AFP/Getty Images)

A smoker holds a cigarette.

(Karen Bleier/ AFP/Getty Images/Karen Bleier/ AFP/Getty Images)

Nicotine gum, patches, to be free in B.C. Add to ...

The B.C. government is offering to help people quit smoking with free nicotine replacement therapies.

Premier Christy Clark says the government will spend up to 25-million dollars on nicotine gum, patches or prescription drugs, providing a 12-week supply to smokers, with the drugs covered under PharmaCare.

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The free products will be available at the end of September after the government consults with various groups, including the BC Medical Association and Canadian Cancer Society, on the best way to implement the program.

Premier Christy Clark says tobacco is the largest single cause of premature death and disease in B.C. and the program will give smokers a new level of direct support to quit the habit.

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