Frequently Asked Questions

How can a pharmacist help me with quitting?

Pharmacists can help you quit smoking, quit using smokeless tobacco, or quit vaping, by providing medicines, counseling, resources, and contacting your primary care provider to let him or her know about the medication(s) you are taking for quitting. They will also follow-up with you during your quit attempt, to discuss any ongoing challenges you might be having and to help you decide when it is time to stop taking the quit-smoking medicines.

Do I need to schedule an appointment?

To get the most of your pharmacy visit and to ensure that a pharmacist is available when you arrive, it is best to contact your pharmacy to set up an appointment.

Should I bring anything with me?

Bring a list of your current medications, if any (including prescriptions, over-the-counter products, vitamins, and other supplements), and the health insurance card that you use for prescriptions (if you have one).

Is there a minimum age?

In most cases, you must be 18 years or older to use a medicine to quit smoking, but pharmacists can provide advice for quitting regardless of your age.

Can a pharmacist help me quit vaping?

Yes, a pharmacist can help you to quit vaping, and often medication(s) will be recommended.

What is the best way to go about quitting?

Tobacco dependence has two parts: (1) the behavior of smoking, and (2) the addiction to nicotine. It is important to address both when you quit

First, you will want to get professional help from your pharmacist and/or a quit smoking program, which will help you to address triggers for tobacco use and any habits or routines associated with smoking.

Second, using one or more quit-smoking medicines will help with the addiction by making you more comfortable while you are working towards being a non-smoker again.

Why would I want to use a quit-smoking medicine?

These medicines help make you more comfortable while you are quitting by reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Medications help you to handle nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as: irritability, frustration, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, and cravings for tobacco.

When used correctly, medicines can at least double your chances of quitting.

Can I get quit-smoking medications without a prescription?

There are several quit-smoking medications that you can get without a prescription:

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine lozenge
  • Nicotine patch

If you are unsure whether these medicines are right for you, talk with your pharmacist. Through a series of questions, the pharmacist can quickly help you choose the best option for you.

What quit-smoking medications require a prescription?

  • Nicotine inhaler
  • Nicotine nasal spray
  • Bupropion SR (which used to be sold as “Zyban”)
  • Varenicline (sold as Chantix)

What if I’m not sure whether I’m ready to quit smoking?

Even if you are unsure whether you are ready to quit, a great next step is speaking with your pharmacist! He or she can talk with you about your reasons and confidence for quitting and can encourage you by helping you set goals. Additionally, you can receive valuable information and answers to any questions that you might have.