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Training and resources for eye health professionals

Eye Health professionals are a respected source of health information. They are well placed to deliver smoking cessation brief advice to patients. 1 in 33 conversations with a health professional will result in a person quitting smoking.

Quitting smoking is the best thing a person can do for their health, and also their eye health. A brief advice conversation with a patient about their smoking is quick and effective. 

Quit and Vision Initiative have together developed training and resources that assist eye health professionals to support their patients to stop smoking, helping to improve patients' general health and vision outcomes.

Eye health professionals can play an important role in supporting patients who smoke to stop smoking.

Brief advice: Ask, Advise, Help

In conjunction with health professionals, Quit have adapted a 3-step brief advice model: Ask, Advise, Help (AAH). It focuses on identifying people who smoke and helping them access best practice tobacco dependence treatment. Best practice tobacco dependence treatment is a combination of pharmacotherapy and multi-session behavioural intervention through Quitline.

  • Ask all patients about smoking status and document this in their case file.

  • Advise all patients who smoke about the best way to stop smoking and why this is important.

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

How to put the Ask, Advice, Help brief advice model into practice


Quit worked with Vision Initiative and eye health professionals to develop resources to help you help your patients stop smoking. You can download or order these through the Quit resource order form.

  • Talk to your eye health professional today: clinic prompt tent card

  • Quitline referral pad for eye health professionals

  • Smoking and the health of your eyes brochure

  • Smoking and your eyes fact sheet.

  • 4D's appointment and wallet cards for clients

  • 'My quit plan' brochure for clients, and more.

Referring patients to Quitline (13 7848)

Quitline is a confidential, evidenced-based 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 patients to Quitline, you help them access free support and increase the chance that they will be able to make a successful quit attempt.

There are two ways to refer patients to Quitline:

  • Quitline fax referral sheet

  • Online referral form.

Dr Cathy Segan, Quit’s Behavioural Scientist, describes how the Quitline works

Tobacco Facts & Issues

Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues is a comprehensive review of the major issues in smoking and health in Australia, compiled by Cancer Council Victoria.

Training for eye health professionals

A tailored free online course especially for eye health professionals has been designed with optometrists and orthoptists in mind.

The training aims to equip the sector with the skills and confidence to deliver best practice smoking cessation brief advice to patients.

You must complete the Smoking Cessation Brief Advice Essentials learning module before being able to complete the eye health extended learning module. It takes approximately one hour to complete both modules. The training has been accredited with Optometry Australia for one CPD point.

Duration: Approximately 1 hour.

Cost: The training is free for VIC, SA and WA learners.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand who is smoking and which priority populations have higher rates of smoking.

  • Understand the negative impacts of smoking on health outcomes including eye health.

  • 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 and how to refer.

CPD points: 1

Certification: Printable certificate

Embedding smoking cessation care into routine practice

Not only can the AAH model be used by individual eye health professionals in their everyday interactions with patients, it can also be used to guide organisation-wide change to systematically embed smoking cessation care into routine practice. Read more

Last updated: November 2021

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