Alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers are a respected source of support. They are well placed to have smoking cessation brief advice conversations with their clients. Every conversation increases the chance of a client successfully quitting smoking.
People who are dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs are more likely to smoke tobacco and find it difficult to stop. Despite this, most people who smoke, including those who are dependent on AOD, are motivated to quit.
Evidence also shows that receiving treatment for both tobacco and AOD dependence also improves a client’s long-term recovery from AOD dependence by up to 25%.
Brief advice: Ask, Advise, Help
A brief advice conversation with a client about smoking is fast, simple and effective.
Quit's 3-step brief advice model focuses on identifying people who smoke and helping them access best practice tobacco dependence treatment: a combination of stop smoking medications and multi-session behavioural intervention through Quitline.
The brief advice model has three steps:
- Ask all clients about smoking status and document this in their case file.
- Advise clients who smoke to quit, in a clear, non-confrontational and personalised way that focuses on the benefits of quitting, and advise of the best way to quit.
- Help by offering referral to Quitline (13 7848) and help clients to access stop smoking medications (such as nicotine replacement therapy).
Training for AOD workers
In partnership with the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association and in consultation with the AOD sector, we have developed an online smoking cessation brief advice training package for the AOD workforce.
Having brief advice conversations with clients about their smoking is fast, simple and effective.
This training will give you the skills to have brief advice conversations, increase your knowledge of best practice smoking cessation care and outline the services and resources available to support clients to make a quit attempt.
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
- Training is free for VIC, SA and WA learners
- A registration fee of $20 applies for other states and territories
- Understand how to promote the benefits of quitting to motivate your clients.
- Understand how smoking is addictive and how to identify the best quitting methods.
- Understand how the offer of help encourages people to stop smoking and how to apply a 3-step brief advice model for smoking cessation.
- Understand the stop smoking medication options available.
- Know how to make an offer of help by referring clients to Quitline and providing information and resources to prompt a quit attempt.
Certification: Printable certificate
"What I've noticed since I've quit smoking is some space between getting angry and having cravings to use drugs." Supporting clients to stop smoking is an important part of AOD care. Watch Habib's story to hear how his AOD service supported him to stop smoking, and hear about the benefits he's experienced to his general health as well as to his AOD recovery.
Referring your clients to Quitline
Quitline is a confidential telephone counselling service. Highly trained Quitline counsellors use behaviour change techniques and motivational interviewing over multiple calls to help people plan, make and sustain a quit attempt. By referring clients to Quitline you are helping them access free support and increasing the chance that they will be able to make a successful quit attempt.
There are two ways to refer clients to Quitline:
We have worked with stakeholders to develop a range of resources. You can order these through the Quit resource order form.
- A quick reference guide outlining how to support clients to stop smoking.
- The Ask, Advise, Help chart describes the steps to take during a brief advice conversation about smoking.
- This table outlines the drug interactions with smoking and details the impact of smoking cessation on drug dosages.
- This Shared care flyer outlining the importance of shared care in supporting Aboriginal people to stop smoking.
- Place the staff Benefits of quitting poster in your staff room.
- Provide carers and families with the Supporting someone with a lived experience of mental illness to quit smoking brochure.
- Use the Did you know that your AOD worker can help you quit smoking? youth and adult posters in your services.
- The What I can do to stop smoking brochure provides tips and strategies for clients to start planning their quit journey.
- Use the Stress cycle of smoking poster as a discussion tool with clients.
- The Benefits of quitting poster and postcard are a great resource to prompt clients to seek help and advice.
- The 4Ds appointment card has space to write three appointment times on one side and tips for managing cravings on the other.
- The Quit for cash adult and youth postcards and poster help people see how much they could save and are great to use as a motivational tool.
- Use this brochure and poster to support clients when using different forms of nicotine replacement therapy.
- Complete the personalised Your stop smoking plan with clients.
- My quit plan brochure and What I can do to stop smoking wallet card can be used to help clients stay on track.
Tobacco in Australia: Facts & Issues
Tobacco in Australia: Facts & Issues is a comprehensive review of the major issues in smoking and health in Australia, compiled by Cancer Council Victoria.
Making smoking cessation brief advice part of routine practice
The AAH model can be used by individual AOD workers in their everyday interactions with clients. It can also be used to guide organisation-wide systems change. The goal is to systematically embed smoking cessation care into routine practice. Read more.