If a patient smokes
the best thing they can do for their health is to stop smoking. Smokers expect
to be asked and be advised, a health event can be a trigger to quit. These tips
will support you to make a difference to your patients:
- as a nurses you need to ask, advise and refer.
- ask about
smoking history, document and keep asking at every consultation.
- give brief intervention advice and
- refer to
a NHS stop smoking service which are available in a wide range of
locations (including hospitals).
- get your training (making every contact count
– widely available)
- reinforce the smoke free policies, it is
everyone’s role to help smokers including nurses
Help to stop
programmes include behavioural support and medication and last for
approximately 12 weeks.
NHS Stop Smoking Servicesare available in a range of locations from
chemists, local amenities, doctors’ surgeries to hospitals.
smoking cessation programmes include:
- The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) supports the delivery of effective evidence-based tobacco
control programmes and smoking cessation interventions provided by local
stop smoking services.
- NHS Education Scotland has produced two e-learning packages and one
virtual patient scenario to help equip health care professionals with the
skills to help people stop smoking, and provides advice on how to start
your own Stop Smoking service.
- Stop Smoking Wales has launched an e-Learning Brief Intervention training
package for NHS staff. There are also many local training packages and
- There are a range of resources to help you
contact or set up a service if there are none available, see the British Thoracic Society - smoking cessationpages.
The RCN is a member
on the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on smoking and health and has been
supporting the lobbying on guidance and support on e-cigarettes and how they
can best be used to support smoking cessation.
See the government position one-cigarettes and support for a regulatory framework. See also the
RCN's policy briefing: Revision of European legislation
on Tobacco Products Directive. RCN Position Statement (2013).
A report to the UK All PartyParliamentary Groups has summarised evidence relating to key issues
There has been considerable
discussion on e-cigarettes and one of the key issues for nurses is how to
advise on their use with other smoking cessation support measures. The
following statement from the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists ARNS,
who work in partnership with the RCN, provides
additional information and material.
The European Union
and its Member States have taken various tobacco control measures in the form
of legislation, recommendations and information campaigns. Tobacco consumption
is the single largest avoidable health risk in the European Union. It is the
most significant cause of premature death, responsible for nearly 700,000
deaths every year. Around 50 percent of smokers die prematurely, on average 14 years earlier.
The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group has published a new document: Use of electronic cigarettes in pregnancy: A guide for midwives and other healthcare professionals. The briefing is intended to provide a summary of the evidence on electronic cigarettes, with suggested responses to some frequently asked questions about their use during pregnancy. Public Health England has also published a blog: Achieving a smokefree pregnancy: can e-cigarettes help? See also: RCN Midwifery Forum.
Cancer Research UK has some useful documents and briefings on the role of e-cigarettes, the evidence to date on their safety, impact and role in smoking cessation.
ROSPA have developed guidance on the safety implications of vaping in the home, see: Use of e-cigarettes (vaping) in the home: advice for parents. There is also a good blog on safety advice for parents and families from Jo Locker, Tobacco Control Manager, Public Health England, see: Vaping in the home: advice for parents.