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How to embed smoking cessation care into your organisation

An organisation-wide approach is needed to embed the Ask, Advise, Help (AAH) smoking cessation brief advice model into routine practice. The AAH model outlines how to deliver best practice smoking cessation care.

The Ask, Advise, Help (AAH) model

This model can be used by individual health, community and social service professionals in their everyday interactions with patients, clients and consumers. It can also be used to guide systems change in these settings.

  • Ask about smoking status and document this.

  • Advise all people who smoke to quit in a clear, non-confrontational, personalised way, and advise about the best way to quit.

  • Help by offering referral to behavioural intervention through Quitline (13 7848), and help clients to access smoking cessation pharmacotherapy, such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

AAH: Key ingredients for success

Research has consistently shown there are key ingredients for successful organisation-wide change. To effectively embed the AAH model, these elements need to be addressed systematically and in parallel with each other:

  • Senior leadership commitment: Senior staff endorse the AAH model, drive change and serve as leaders and role models for other staff.

  • Workforce engagement, support and education: Training, resources and other supports to increase staff knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver brief advice using the AAH model.

  • Smokefree policies, procedures and guidelines: To support organisation-wide adoption of the AAH model and to guide action.

  • Data collection, monitoring and evaluation: Evaluating how well the AAH model is being embedded and to identify if practice change is happening.

  • Supportive systems: Identifying what is needed to make implementation of the AAH model efficient and effective. For example, streamlined referral pathways to Quitline and access to NRT.

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