Smoking is one of the major contributors to social disadvantage in Victoria. Compared to the general population, people accessing community and social services are more likely to smoke and find it more difficult to quit. Smoking increases financial stress and influences the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
Staff working in community and social services are well placed to deliver smoking cessation brief advice to clients because they:
- Work directly with people experiencing social and financial disadvantage
- Have trusted relationships with clients
- Are committed to improving clients' health and wellbeing
- Are skilled and experienced in promoting positive behaviour change
- Are devoted to the values of social justice, equity and fairness.
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 a referral to Quitline (13 7848), and help clients to access stop smoking medications (such as nicotine replacement therapy).
Training for the community and social services workforce
In consultation with the community and social services sector, we have developed an online smoking cessation brief advice training package for the community and social services 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 1 hour
Training is free for VIC, SA and WA learners
A registration fee of $20 applies for other states and territories
- Understand who is smoking and which priority populations have higher rates of smoking
- Understand the negative impacts of smoking on health outcomes
- Understand the relationship between smoking and social disadvantage
- Know how to provide fast, simple and effective brief advice in a supportive, non-judgemental manner
- Understand the important role of multi-session behavioural intervention (such as Quitline) and how to refer
- Understand the different smoking cessation pharmacotherapy options available
- Know what additional resources are available to help you support clients who smoke.
Certification: Printable certificate
Referring clients to Quitline
Quitline is a confidential, evidenced-based 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:
Quit have worked with stakeholders and consumers 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.
- Use the Did you know that our staff can help you quit smoking poster? in your services
- Provide carers and families with the Supporting Someone with a Lived Experience of Mental Illness to Quit Smoking brochure.
- Place the Benefits of Quitting poster in your staff room.
- The Ask, Advise, Help chart describes the steps to take when having a brief advice conversation about smoking.
- This table outlines the drug interactions with smoking and details the impact of smoking cessation on drug dosages.
- The Shared Care flyer outlining the importance of shared care in supporting Aboriginal people to stop smoking.
- Use the Stress Cycle of Smoking poster as a discussion tool with clients.
- The Benefits of Quitting poster and postcard are great resources to promote 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 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.
- The What I Can Do to Stop Smoking brochure provides tips and strategies for clients to start planning their quit journey.
Tobacco in Australia: Facts & Issues
Making smoking cessation brief advice part of routine practice
AAH model can be used by staff working in community and social services 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.