More great news for all Australians trying to kick their smoking habit. Today the federal government announced their commitment to funding nicotine patches on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
As of February 2011, smokers will be able to receive a four-week course of nicotine patches for approximately $33.50 with a doctor's prescription. Those holding a concession card can obtain a four-week course for $5.40 with a doctor's prescription.
At the moment, the cost of a four-week course of nicotine patches is between $100 and $140 - with even the smallest available pack of patches costing two to three times as much as a pack of cigarettes.
Quit believes this subsidy will offer smokers who couldn't otherwise afford it vital support to quit and hopefully encourage more smokers to give quitting a go.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon says she hope the subsidy will help reduce smoking rates and deaths from smoking caused illness - especially among low income Australians.
"The good news of course is that low income Australians - when they kick their habit of smoking - will have that money in their hip pockets instead."
Nicotine patches will still be available over-the-counter for the same price they are now. Quitters will only be able to receive subsidised patches with a Doctor's prescription.