Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Smokers can rely on nurses for help to butt out

Smokers can rely on nurses for help to butt out


TORONTO, Mar. 11, 2013 – Research shows that nurses who spark a conversation with smokers about their tobacco use and dependence can influence healthy decisions.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) Nursing Best Practice Smoking Cessation Initiative is offering a series of free workshops across the province during the month of March, providing nurses, nursing students and other health professionals with evidenced-based strategies and tools to intervene and support smokers who want to quit for good.

“Smoking is one of the most important public health threats of our time. We know that 37,000 deaths a year in Canada are linked to tobacco use. Nursing research shows that reaching out to people is one of the most important steps in gauging their willingness to quit,” explains Irmajean Bajnok, Director of RNAO’s Best Practice Guidelines program in Toronto.

“Nurses who spend as little as three minutes initiating conversations about quitting smoking can help make a difference,” says Bajnok adding arming nurses with the best available evidence from the association’s smoking cessation guideline is the key to reducing smoking rates.

“Nurses are often a first point of contact with patients,” says Sheila John, a registered nurse with RNAO, who is leading the association’s provincial project. “We work in the community, in hospitals, in people’s homes, and we focus on health promotion and disease prevention. “If you want to quit, we can help because we can be that source of information and support that you need.”

RNAO says the province has enacted some of the most progressive legislation in North America banning smoking in restaurants and in people’s cars, however, tens of thousands of people, remained addicted to tobacco.

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

Nurses experienced in smoking cessation are also available for interviews. Since its creation, RNAO’s Nursing Best Practice Smoking Cessation Initiative has trained more than 2,500 nurses in evidence-based smoking cessation interventions across Canada. Media are welcome to any of the workshops taking place.

Provincial Smoking Cessation Initiative Workshop Locations & Dates:

  • Huntsville: March 18 – The Deerhurst Resort (1235 Deerhurst Dr, Huntsville, ON P1H 1A9) Jennifer Tonn and Nancy Bauer – coordinating RNs
  • Chatham: March 21 – The Bradley Convention Centre (565 Richmond St., Chatham, ON N7M 1R2) Heather Gartner and Nancy Bauer – coordinating RNs
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake: March 23 – White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa (253 Taylor Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0) Jennifer Tonn and Manon Lemonde – coordinating RNs *
  • Guelph: March 25 – Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre (50 Stone Road West, Guelph, ON N1G 0A9) Jennifer Tonn and Manon Lemonde – coordinating RNs
  • Ingersoll: March 27 – The Elm Hurst Inn (415 Harris Street, Ingersoll, ON N5C 3J8) Heather Gartner and Nancy Bauer – coordinating RNs

All workshops run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

*this workshop is for nursing students

Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Office: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209