Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Website that encourages nurses to counsel smokers is the first in Canada

Website that encourages nurses to counsel smokers is the first in Canada

TORONTO – June 6, 2007 - A new website for nurses highlights the key role they play in helping people quit smoking and gives them proven methods for discussing smoking habits with all their patients.

This afternoon, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) will launch at its International Conference on Evidence-Based Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) being held in Markham. The website promotes methods outlined in ‘Integrating Smoking Cessation into Daily Nursing Practice’, an RNAO guideline developed by a panel of nursing experts. This project was funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion’s Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy (SFO).

 “Our goal is to have every single nurse in the province ask people if they smoke. This website will give nurses the evidence and information they need to advise, counsel and coach smokers. It’s a customized resource for nurses and other health-care providers – a place where they can share ideas and techniques for supporting people who want to quit smoking,” says Tazim Virani, program director of RNAO’s BPG program.

 Nurses who visit the website will learn how to use a counselling method called ‘Ask, Advise, Assist, Arrange.’ This method recommends asking all clients about tobacco use, advising them of the importance of quitting, helping them by providing information about how to quit and arranging a follow-up meeting or a referral to another health-care provider. Evidence shows that these discussions can make a significant difference to smokers who need information and support.

 “Smoking is the most important public health issue in terms of chronic disease prevention. Some nurses don’t realize that they can get across key messages in just a few minutes. This website is designed to inspire individual nurses and the organizations they work for to make a commitment to smoking cessation,” says RN Janet Nevala, who was involved in the development of RNAO’s guideline and the new website.

 In addition to the website, RNAO will launch other resources for nurses including a video, a pocket guide and a poster.

 RNAO’s International Conference on Evidence-Based Best Practice Guidelines focuses on evidence-based guidelines related to excellence in clinical practice and healthy work environments. It brings together clinicians, decisions makers, researchers and other experts from all health-care sectors. The conference will be taking place from Wednesday, June 6 to Friday, June 8 at the Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham Centre and Spa. To view the conference program, please visit:

 RNAO’s ambitious Best Practice Guidelines Program, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care was launched in 1999 to provide the best available evidence for patient care across a wide spectrum of health-care areas. The 30 guidelines developed to date are a substantive contribution towards building excellence in Ontario’s health-care system. They are available to nurses and other health-care professionals across Canada and abroad. To learn more about RNAO’s Nursing Best Practice Guidelines Program or to view these resources, please visit  -30-