New Zealand Smoking Cessation Guidelines
The New Zealand Smoking Cessation Guidelines provide updated guidance for health care workers in their contacts with people who smoke tobacco. The guidelines make recommendations for the use of evidence-based interventions in priority population groups, in particular Māori, Pacific peoples, pregnant women and people who use mental health and addiction services. They are based on a comprehensive literature review that summarises the most recent national and international evidence on best practice in smoking cessation. The full range of smoking cessation treatments now available in New Zealand has been considered. People involved in providing smoking cessation services to many different population groups were consulted throughout the development of the guidelines.
The guidelines include several important messages:
- Health care workers should give brief advice to stop smoking to all people who smoke, regardless of whether they say they are ready to stop smoking or not.
- Provide evidence-based cessation support for those who express a desire to stop smoking.
- Health care workers should only recommend smoking cessation treatments of proven effectiveness, as identified in these guidelines, to people interested in stopping smoking.
The Guidelines are structured around a new memory aid – ABC, which incorporates and replaces the previously used ‘5As’ (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange). ABC is a simple and easy tool that all health care workers can use to guide their action. ABC prompts health care workers to Ask about smoking status; to give Brief advice to stop smoking to all smokers and to provide evidence-based Cessation support for those who wish to stop smoking.
Implicit within this guideline is an assumption that health care workers have the prerequisite knowledge, attitudes and skills to support smokers in ways that maximise the smokers’ chances of stopping smoking permanently.