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Tobacco Cessation - Information for Healthcare Providers

Did you know? Healthcare providers can make a significant difference in helping their patients quit. The majority of smokers want to quit, however often it takes several times before being able to quit completely.1 Evidence suggests that the most important step in addressing tobacco use and dependence is screening for tobacco use and offering minimal contact interventions for tobacco cessation to all tobacco users at every opportunity.2 Tobacco users are also more likely to ask and receive advice from a healthcare professional that have previously given advice.3


Assessments and Interventions

Tobacco dependent assessments and interventions are easy to incorporate into practice and can be done quickly and efficiently. In less than three minutes, you can make a difference simply by following the 5 A’s:

  1. Ask
    Ask your patient if he/she uses tobacco products.
  2. Advise
    Advise your patient about the risks of tobacco use and to quit.
  3. Assess
    Assess your patient’s readiness to quit.
  4. Assist
    Assist your patient in quitting by providing access to resources and community cessation services.
  5. Arrange
    Arrange a follow-up through Smokers’ Helpline Quit Connection Program or fax referral partnership.

Patient Handouts

Date of creation: September 28, 2016
Last modified on: May 31, 2018

Tobacco Cessation Community of Practice

Connect with other healthcare providers working in tobacco cessation and receive up-to-date information. Join the Middlesex-London Tobacco Cessation Community of Practice.

Learn more

Download Brochure (PDF)



Check out the following resources to learn more about where smoking cessation medications are available at no-cost:



1The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU). (2013). Quitting Smoking In Ontario: Findings from the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit - Infographic. Retrieved from
2The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU). (2008). Update: Health Professionals’ advice on smoking cessation in Ontario: 2002-2007. Toronto, ON: OTRU. Retrieved from
3Smoke-Free Ontario - Scientific Advisory Committee. (2010). Evidence to Guide Action: Comprehensive Tobacco Control in Ontario. Toronto, ON: Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion. Retrieved from