All health care workers play an important role in supporting New Zealand to become smoke free. They see a large proportion of New Zealand’s smokers regularly, and are uniquely placed to provide expert advice on the merits of stopping smoking.
In 2011, the Government set a goal of reducing smoking and tobacco availability to minimal levels, essentially making New Zealand smoke free by 2025. In 2013, 15% of New Zealanders smoked tobacco every day. That rate was even higher among Māori (33%) and Pacific peoples (23%).
The New Zealand Guidelines for Helping People to Stop Smoking (the Guidelines) provide health care workers with advice they can use when dealing with people who smoke. These Guidelines replace the 2007 New Zealand Smoking Cessation Guidelines and are based on a recent review of the effectiveness and affordability of stop-smoking interventions.
These Guidelines remain structured around the ABC pathway, which was introduced in the 2007 Guidelines. However, the definitions of A, B and C (see below) have been improved to emphasise the importance of making an offer of cessation support and referring people who smoke to a stop-smoking service.
The ABC pathway
- Ask about and document every person’s smoking status.
- Give Brief advice to stop to every person who smokes.
- Strongly encourage every person who smokes to use Cessation support (a combination of behavioural support and stop-smoking medicine works best) and offer to help them access it. Refer to, or provide, cessation support to everyone who accepts your offer.
The Guidelines have also been condensed into a new and easy-to-use format that is relevant for health care workers working in different areas of health and/or tobacco control. Specific information has been included for managers of health care or stop-smoking services, all types of health care workers and practitioners who work in stop-smoking services.
Other documents that support the Guidelines
Background and Recommendations of The New Zealand Guidelines for Helping People to Stop Smoking
Further information on the evidence and recommendations included in the Guidelines can be found in the Background and Recommendations of The New Zealand Guidelines for Helping People to Stop Smoking document. This document also includes more detailed information on each of the stop-smoking medicines and on to provide cessation support to different population groups (eg, pregnant women).
Guide to Prescribing Nicotine Replacement Therapy
The Guide to Prescribing Nicotine Replacement Therapy outlines the process for prescribing nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), including the questions health care workers should ask their patients or clients and the dosages different patients or clients should be prescribed. It also demonstrates the correct method for filling out a Quit Card. A Quit Card is a voucher that a person can exchange for subsidised NRT.
This resource is also available in hard copy. You can order a copy by emailing [email protected] or calling 04 496 2277 quoting HP5869. Please let us know your name, your physical address and how many copies you would like.
The ABC Pathway: Key messages for frontline health care workers
The ABC Pathway: Key messages for frontline health care workers document identifies why it is important for each type of health care worker (eg, surgeons or midwives) to support their patients or clients to stop smoking. This document also provides some of the technical information on providing treatment to different population groups, such as clients of maternity services, mental health services, surgical services or cancer services.