This best practice guideline is intended to provide direction to nurses during daily practice in all care settings, both institutional and community. This guideline does not describe in-depth interventions for special populations such as youths, although the recommendations may also be applied to this group.
This guideline focuses on four areas of smoking cessation:
- Practice recommendations, directed at the nurse and nursing practice.
- Education recommendations, directed at competencies required for practice.
- Organization and policy recommendations, directed at the organizational setting and the environment to facilitate nursing practice.
- Evaluation and monitoring criteria.
Although this best practice guideline contains recommendations for Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), it is acknowledged by the development panel that promotion of smoking cessation is enhanced by the involvement of healthcare providers from a range of disciplines. Thus, other healthcare providers may also find this guideline useful in their practice.
The most important outcome of this guideline is to motivate and support all nurses to identify the tobacco use status of their clients and encourage them to intervene with those identified as individuals who smoke in a sensitive, non-judgmental manner about the importance of cessation.
It is suggested that if a substantial number of healthcare providers implement minimal smoking cessation interventions, there will be a significant reduction in the number of tobacco users, a decrease in related tobacco diseases and a lowering of healthcare costs. Tobacco-related diseases cost the Ontario economy at least $1.7 billion in healthcare annually, result in more than $2.6 billion in productivity losses and account for at least 500,000 hospital days each year (Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, 2006).