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).
How to put the ‘Ask, Advise, Help’ brief advice model into practice
Training for AOD workers
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 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.
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 people who smoke.
Certification: Printable certificateRegister for online training
"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 (13 7848)
Quitline is a confidential telephone counselling service. Qualified 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:
Use the Quitline fax referral sheet
Refer clients online.
We have worked with stakeholders to develop a range of resources. You can order these through the Quit resource order form.
Posters for waiting areas or clinic rooms
Helping clients to stop smoking: a guide for alcohol and other drug workers
4D's appointment and wallet cards for clients
'My quit plan' brochure for clients, and more.
Download or order hardcopy resources via the resource order form:Resource order form
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 about the Ask, Advise, Help model.
For any queries or further information, please contact email@example.com
Last update December 2023.