How do I talk about smoking?

Tobacco Control Lets Start a Conversation

How do I talk about smoking?

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A = Ask

Ask all people if they smoke.

Asking gives a person the opportunity to discuss their smoking.

You could say:

  • “Have you ever smoked?”
  • “How are you going with your smoking?”
  • “Have you ever tried to stop smoking before?”

B = Brief Advice

Give clear advice on the benefits of being smoke free.

Personalise your advice to what is important for that person.

It can be in as little as 30 seconds.

You could say:

  • “You will start to breathe better if you stop smoking.”
  • “If you stop you will have more money.”

C = Cessation Support

Offer support, even if a person is not ready to quit.

Recommend nicotine replacement therapy.

Refer to the Quitline.

You could say:

  • “It sounds like you could use some extra help. Would you like to try the Quitline?”
  • “It sounds like you need more nicotine replacement. We know that combining a patch with nicotine gum, lozenges, inhalers or a spray works better.”

Your support can make a difference

People with mental illness who smoke can quit by using nicotine replacement therapy and receiving counselling support.



Statewide Smoking Cessation Program (for hospital inpatients and outpatients)

A doctor or pharmacist can support smoking cessation.

Things to note:

  • As people with mental illness typically smoke at higher levels, they may need higher doses of combination NRT and for a longer time.
  • Smoking tobacco can interfere with some psychotropic medications. Doses may need to be reviewed when someone stops or restarts smoking, or if they change how much they smoke.

Visit Your Health and Quitting for more information and resources.