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Health Targets: Better help for smokers to quit
What is the target?
80 percent of hospitalised smokers will be provided with advice and help to quit by July 2010; 90 percent by July 2011; and 95 percent by July 2012.
Why is this target area important?
Smoking kills an estimated 5000 people in New Zealand every year, and smoking-related diseases are a significant opportunity cost to the health sector. Most smokers want to quit, and there are simple effective interventions that can be routinely provided in both primary and secondary care.
This target is designed to prompt providers to routinely ask about smoking status as a clinical ‘vital sign’ and then to provide brief advice and offer quit support to current smokers. There is strong evidence that brief advice is effective at prompting quit attempts and long term quit success. The quit rate is improved further by the provision of effective cessation therapies – pharmaceuticals, in particular nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and telephone or face-to-face support.
Who are champions of this target?
National Programme Manager, Tobacco Control Programme (Acting Target Champion)
Dr John McMenamin
Co-Target Champion (Primary Care)