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Training and resources for oral health professionals

Oral Health professionals are a respected source of health information. They are well placed to deliver smoking cessation brief advice to clients. 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 oral health. A brief advice conversation with a client about their smoking is quick and effective.

Smoking is a major contributor of both oral cancer and periodontal disease:

  • The first signs of smoking damage are usually in the mouth.

  • Smoking affects the mouth, teeth and gums, and can impact on treatment options.

  • In addition to stained teeth and periodontal disease, even people without teeth should be made aware of changes to taste, smell and saliva, and soft tissue changes including mouth cancer.

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 care. Best practice care is a combination of pharmacotherapy and multi-session behavioural intervention through Quitline.

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

  • Advise all clients who smoke about the best way to quit and why this is important.

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

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

How to put the ‘Ask, Advise, Help’ brief advice model into practice

In depth: how to put the Ask, Advice, Help brief advice model into practice

Resources for oral health professionals and patients

A range of resources have been developed by Quit together with oral health professionals and consumers to help you help your clients stop smoking. You can download or order these through the Quit resource order form.

  • Quitline referral pad for oral health professionals

  • Posters for waiting areas or clinic rooms

  • Smoking and the health of your mouth, teeth and gum brochure and factsheet

  • 4D's appointment and wallet cards for clients

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

Referring clients 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 clients 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 clients to Quitline:

  • Quitline fax referral sheet

  • Online referral form.

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

Tobacco in Australia: 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 oral health professionals

This online course is especially tailored for oral health professionals and it has been designed with all members of the dental team in mind.

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

Duration: Approximately 1 hour


  • Training is free for VIC, SA and WA learners

  • A registration fee of $20 applies for other states and territories

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 oral 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 to help you support clients who smoke.

Certification: Printable certificate

Embedding smoking cessation care into routine practice

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

For any queries or further information, please contact

Last updated January 2023.

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