Smoking cessation in cancer care

Access to smoking cessation supports in cancer care settings in 2022-23

  • All 17 cancer centres in Alberta offer people with cancer support to quit smoking and are working toward offering culturally appropriate supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis with cancer.
  • Front-line staff at cancer centres screen people for commercial tobacco use, advise them to quit smoking and refer people to community-based smoking cessation services. Community-based smoking cessation services include a helpline (AlbertaQuits) and smoking cessation groups (QuitCore) that are offered in-person and virtually.
  • AlbertaQuits and QuitCore offer participants free smoking cessation medications.

Smoking cessation in cancer care implementation level in 2022-23: SILVER

Quality dimension Implementation criteria met Level
Behavioural counselling Offers 3A (Ask, Advise, Act) or 5A (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) model with an opt-out approach SILVER
Pharmacotherapy Offers subsidized varenicline, bupropion and/or nicotine replacement therapy SILVER
Person-centred Engages people with cancer in program planning and gathers people’s feedback SILVER
Culturally competent Offers staff cultural competency training BRONZE
Partnership Works with a multi-disciplinary team and community partners SILVER
Indicator measurement and reporting Collects and reports on adoption and reach data BRONZE

Smoking Cessation Action Framework Implementation Checklist

Impact of funded project (2019-21)

  • Building on a previously funded evaluation project, funding and support enabled partners across Alberta Health Services (Cancer Care Alberta, Provincial Population and Public Health, Tobacco Vaping and Cannabis Program, and Health Link) to strengthen and sustain existing smoking cessation supports in the cancer centres.
  • Partners collaborated to develop an automated referral pathway from cancer centres to community-based smoking cessation services, update a clinical practice guideline on smoking cessation in cancer care, create new educational modules and resources for healthcare providers, develop virtual smoking cessation groups for people with cancer, and update education resources for people with cancer.
  • The project set the stage for Alberta Health Services to begin offering group cessation supports that have been adapted for diverse equity-denied populations.

Alberta cancer care settings offering smoking cessation remained at 17 out of 17 from 2018-19 to 2022-23. The implementation level remained at silver from 2019-20 to 2022-23.