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Healthcare Providers & Clinicians

You play an important role in helping your patient quit smoking. Quitting smoking is one of the best things a person can do to improve his or her health.

Smoking cessation counselling is widely recognized as an effective clinical practice. Even a brief intervention by a healthcare professional, such as yourself, has been shown to make a significant difference in supporting a person to quit.

The CAN-ADAPTT Guidelines (Canadian Action Network for the Advancement, Dissemination and Adoption of Practice-informed Tobacco Treatment) are the current best practice clinical practice guidelines for healthcare professionals in Canada.

These guidelines recommend the quick 5 A approach to supporting someone to quit. It’s simple, effective and takes only 5 minutes of your time.

The 5 As are:

  1. Ask the person about their tobacco use.

E.g. “Have you used any tobacco products in the past month, week or today?”

  1. Advise them to quit.

E.g. “Quitting is very beneficial to your health.”

  1. Assess for willingness to quit.

E.g. “Is quitting something you want to try?”

  1. Assist in a quit attempt

E.g. “Here are some resources to help you and things you can try.”

  1. Arrange for follow-up.

E.g. “Let’s book a time soon to see how you’re doing and work on any challenges you might find.”

The Tobacco Free Nova Scotia program is your partner in this process.

You Ask them about their tobacco use.

You Advise them to quit.

We can Assess, Assist and Arrange quit smoking support.

Our Referral Program makes it easy for you to refer your patients to Tobacco Free Nova Scotia program. When your patient calls the quit line, he or she will speak to a trained counselor who can offer them the support they need to develop a quit plan and ongoing support to follow it.

Our services include:

  • Phone support
  • Motivational SMS/Texting programs
  • E-counselling via Secure Chat
  • Information

Contact us today at 8-1-1 to find out more about our program.


Studies have conclusively shown that stopping smoking before surgery significantly reduces the chances of surgical complications and improves recovery.

Learn more

Smoking and mental illness

People living with mental illness are more likely to smoke and to be at a greater risk for smoking-related health problems. There is good evidence of substantial quit rates.

Smoking and tobacco interact with some psychiatric medications and people being treated for mental illnesses require clinical supervision when they quit or reduce smoking.

Learn more

Adolescent brain development and smoking

Smoking can affect the function of the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that continues to develop through adolescence. Smoking may have a more serious and lasting impact on brain development during this critical developmental period.

Learn more

Women and smoking

There is growing research that supports the effectiveness of taking a women- centered approach to supporting women to quit smoking. Women’s experiences with smoking are often influenced by complex factors such as mental health and substance use, stress, lack of support, identity and stigma (especially for pregnant and breastfeeding women).

Learn more about women and smoking.

Learn more about supporting women who are pregnant and who smoke.

Aboriginal people and smoking

About 60% of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples use tobacco for recreational purposes. The recreational use of tobacco (smoking cigarettes or cigars or chewing tobacco) does not have the same sacred and spiritual meaning as the traditional use of tobacco. First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples may have greater success with quitting smoking if they use culturally-specific interventions.

CAMH has developed a culturally specific tobacco intervention program for Aboriginal peoples. Learn more.

To see more FACT SHEETS on issues related to quit smoking, go to CAN-ADAPTT tools and resources for healthcare providers and clinicians.


Do you want to learn more about how you to assist your patient to stop smoking? The Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) offers Canada’s only internationally accredited program in smoking cessation counseling.

The TEACH program offers online and in-person workshops and certificate programs that will give you the knowledge and confidence you want to support your patients.

Learn more about the TEACH program


(Information sources: CAN-ADAPTT, JAMA,