Smoking cessation in cancer care

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

  • The two cancer centres in Saskatchewan offer people with cancer support to quit smoking, including culturally appropriate supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis with cancer.
  • People newly diagnosed with cancer are asked about commercial tobacco use at intake and advised to quit. Using an opt-out approach, they are referred to their community pharmacist for counselling and smoking cessation medications, and to the Smokers’ Helpline (provincial quitline) or Talk Tobacco (Indigenous quitline) for virtual support. Community pharmacists provide smoking cessation services, including prescribing smoking cessation medications, through the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan’s Partnership to Assist in the Cessation of Tobacco program.
  • Cancer centres offer people with cancer free, unlimited nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

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 free NRT GOLD
Person-centred Engages people with cancer in program planning BRONZE
Culturally competent Offers staff cultural competency training BRONZE
Partnership Works with multi-disciplinary team and community partners, with mechanisms for information sharing to track people’s progress SILVER
Indicator measurement and reporting Developing tools and infrastructure to track program performance and collect data PRE-IMPLEMENTATION*

*Indicator measurement and reporting was at a ‘Gold’ level during the funded project

Smoking Cessation Action Framework Implementation Checklist

Impact of funded project (2019-21)

  • Funding and support enabled the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency to partner with the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Cancer Society to develop and implement a system to help people with cancer to quit smoking.
  • Partners collaborated to provide training and resources to multi-disciplinary healthcare providers, implement the 3A (Ask, Advise, Act) system in the cancer centres, develop referral pathways from the cancer centres to community pharmacists and quitlines, and create data collection systems.
  • Using additional funding received during the pandemic, cancer centres provided free smoking cessation medications to people attending appointments. After the additional funding ended in 2022, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency added NRT to their formulary so that people could continue to access this medication for free.

Saskatchewan cancer care settings offering smoking cessation remained at 2 out of 2 from 2018-19 to 2022-23. The implementation level remained at silver from 2019-20 to 2022-23.