There’s a growing trend on campuses to go smoke free. Since 2017 the number of 100% smoke-free campuses in Canada has increased from 14 to more than 80 campuses.1 In addition to smoke-free areas mandated by provincial guidelines and those designated by the university, UBC Vancouver has launched smoke and vape-free areas in the health precinct (UBC Hospital, VCH) and Library Garden, and the Okanagan campus is considering a similar approach. This represents a positive, proactive step in UBC’s formal commitment to promote health and wellbeing.
As community dialogue and consultation with UBC faculty, staff and students continue, UBC recognizes that developing smoke-free areas may create challenges for some members of our community.2 For faculty and staff who may be considering going smoke-free for their health and wellbeing, using smoking cessation products can greatly increase the chance for success. Only about 5% of people who try to quit tobacco succeed without a smoking cessation product, but more than 30% succeed when using one.3
Here’s how UBC’s benefits plan can support your efforts to go smoke free.
UBC’s Extended Health benefits provide reimbursement for smoking cessation products that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and have been approved under Drug Evaluation, or that have a Natural Product Number (NPN), up to a maximum of $300 per person per year, provided that they are prescribed by a doctor or dentist and obtained from a pharmacist.
The plan also provides coverage for naturopathic services that can include anti-smoking treatments administered by a doctor of naturopathic medicine.
For more details, refer to the information outlined by your UBC Employee Group. For specific drug coverage information, call Sun Life at 1-800-661-7334 or 1-800-361-6212, or review the details in your Sun Life benefits booklet.
In addition to smoking cessation products, it’s important to have a quit plan. Through Morneau Shepell, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) can be a supportive partner in your goal to quit smoking.
Led by a certified smoking cessation counsellor, you’ll be guided through a series of phone sessions that aim to help you navigate and problem-solve difficult situations. You’ll understand why and when you smoke, intercept smoking triggers, prevent relapse, and build social support networks. You’ll also receive a handbook containing exercises and strategies for incorporating your new skills into your daily routines.
Learn more about Shepell’s Smoking Cessation Program and Stop Smoking Centre. Services are free at the time of access and 100% confidential. To book services or to learn which service is right for you, call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-844-880-9137 or visit worklifehealth.com. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
- UBC Pharmacists Clinic (Vancouver campus): The pharmacists have experience supporting people through a smoking cessation process that includes goal-setting, arranging access to nicotine replacement therapy, etc. This routine service is available by appointment. Contact the Pharmacists Clinic.
- HealthLink BC: Smoking cessation resources and health risks and quitting smoking
- BC Lung Association: QuitNow plans and coaches and QuitNow for men
- Morneau Shepell article: Make smoking a thing of the past (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization.)
Amanda Swoboda is enjoying her new role as a Wellbeing Specialist at UBC Okanagan. With a background in social work and mental health literacy in the workplace, Amanda is keen to support and promote a campus culture of health and wellbeing.
1 Canadian Cancer Society, University and College 100% Smoke-Free Campuses in Canada: National Status Report, 2018
2 Perspectives on Smoking at UBC Okanagan, Campus Health Voice Project, 2019
3 Mayo Clinic, 2017