Taking every opportunity
Take every opportunity to identify smokers, document their smoking or vaping status, and offer treatment and support.
Your brief assessment and advice to quit smoking or vaping can act as a prompt to attempt quitting. Research shows that the cost per year of life saved by smoking or vaping cessation interventions makes them one of the most cost-effective healthcare interventions.
Be aware of the positive impact you can have on your patient’s smoking or vaping behaviours. As a health professional, you're in an excellent position to motivate and support your patients to quit smoking or vaping.
The conversation you have with a patient today may be the one that motivates them to quit.
Starting a conversation
There are resources to assist you in engaging patients in smoking or vaping cessation conversations, including:
- Brief Intervention Training – online training to undertake a brief intervention with patients about smoking cessation and healthy lifestyle.
- Start the Conversation – developed by Alfred Health with the Victorian Department of Health it shares experiences of patients and clinicians about life-changing conversations that resulted in people quitting smoking.
- Supporting smoking cessation: A guide for health professionals - developed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. It provides comprehensive information to assist health professionals in supporting smoking and vaping cessation with their patients.
- Smoking and mental illness: A guide for health professionals – developed by the Department of Health and Ageing and SANE Australia to assist you to help patients with a mental illness to quit smoking.
It’s all about how you phrase the conversation. It should never seem like you're lecturing or imparting judgement during an intervention. Your casualness, empathy and understanding all play a part in the smoker internalising your message.
Tips for your conversation
Review quitting methods
A wide variety of options are available for smokers depending on their individual situation. Familiarise yourself with quitting methods in the Choose your method section.
Refer patients to Quitline for further support
Quitline is a service for people who smoke or vape and want information and support to quit. It also provides advice to health professionals. It provides expert advice over the phone and offers a range of programs to assist individuals with cessation based on their needs. Your patients can call Quitline on 13 78 48 or request a call.