With the province partnering up with pharmacies for "Quit Smoking with your Manitoba Pharmacist," Pharmacies here in Portage are stepping up to the plate.

Pharmasave owner Caitlin Giercke says the program is designed to bring in patients and provide them with free counseling from their respective pharmacists. She says the entire process will start with sitting down and discussing what needs to be done.

"Some of it is more medication-based and some is more follow up with the pharmacist about behavioural changes and just things like that," explains Giercke. "Then we're able to try some medication that is over the counter and some prescription medication, basically whatever we decide would be appropriate for the patient."

She adds those looking to partake in the program need to fill out a form but there isn't a specific cutoff date for entry. Once they know who they're treating, they'll be able to schedule check-ins as frequently as they deem fit.

Giercke says, pharmacists have been able to prescribe medication for smoking since 2012, but this program is still very beneficial for them.

"The biggest thing about this program is that we are being reimbursed by the government," notes Giercke. "That's something, that when we were previously prescribing for smoking cessation, that wasn't funded by the government."

If you're looking to join this program, you can visit your favorite pharmacy in Portage.