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How to support your mob to become smoke free

Quitting smoking can be a team effort. If someone in your community is trying to quit smoking, there are steps you can use to guide them through the journey.

Routinely offer and provide support to your community members who smoke by following the three brief intervention steps

1. Ask

Talking to your community member during visits reinforces the importance of stopping smoking, boosts motivation and will often trigger a quit attempt. One in 33 conversations about quitting with a health professional or community leader will lead to a successful quit attempt.

Asking will also help you understand:

  • Why they smoke
  • Where they are at with their smoking (are they interested in quitting or cutting down)
  • Motivations or reasons for quitting
  • Their smoking habits and triggers
  • What stops them from quitting

2. Advise

If they are not ready to address their smoking, then talk to them in a clear, non-confrontational and personalised way: 

  • “Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health” 
  • “Stopping smoking can save you money and improve the overall health of your family” 
  • “I’m here to help whenever you’re ready to talk about how you can cut down or quit”

For more ideas on how to talk to someone about their smoking check out this clip from Dr Hayden McRobbie, an international expert on behavioural medicine.

Remind them on the best way to quit and stay quit. This includes:

  • Behavioural support or coaching  (such as Quitline, stop smoking services)
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or stop smoking medications. 
“Smoking cessation interventions that combine behavioural support with cessation pharmacotherapy are likely to be effective in people with mental disorders” Smoking and Mental Health: A joint report by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Psychiatrists (2013)

3. Help

Providing direct support to your community member is vital to quitting and staying quit.

Discuss with them what supports they’d be open to using. Options include: 

  • Aboriginal Quitline (13 7848) Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. A free, culturally supportive and confidential counselling service that can increase a caller’s chance of quitting successfully.  A tailored service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, our Aboriginal Quit Specialists can guide your client through getting ready to quit, quitting and staying smoke free.
  • More and more community members are using Aboriginal Quitline as they hear about the Aboriginal specific service. Refer them online or by fax

General Practitioner or Aboriginal Health Worker

Encourage your mob to talk to their GP or Aboriginal Health Worker about their plans to stop smoking, and quitting medications.  They can assist with prescribing NRT products or quitting medications, and monitor levels of any other medication they may taking during the quitting process.

QuitTxt and the MyQuitBuddy and Quit4UQuit42 mobile apps

These free mobile services can provide personalised support to help quit smoking. Features include goal setting, celebrating milestones and distractions for the smokers’ most vulnerable craving times.

Suggested Resources

Smoking in the Aboriginal community

Smoking prevalence within Aboriginal communities is still much higher than in non-Indigenous communities. Stark figures, such as a life expectancy 10 years younger than non-Indigenous people reaffirms the need for continued commitment to Aboriginal Programs to tackle smoking.

Find out more

What is the Aboriginal Quitline?

Quitline has proven to be one of the most successful methods to support people to quit for good, and it is an increasingly popular support method for Aboriginal Victorians to cut down or quit.

Find out more

Naomi's story

When life was stressful, Naomi looked to cigarettes for support. Through ups and downs, smoking was a solid constant. Quitting helped to remind Naomi of her own strength. Find out how that confidence led to a healthier life for her and her daughter.

Find out more

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