British Columbia

Smoking cessation in cancer care

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

  • All six cancer centres in British Columbia offer people with cancer support to quit smoking, including culturally appropriate supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis with cancer.
  • People are screened for smoking status using intake forms, and nurses follow up with people who smoke, advising them of the benefits of quitting. Using an opt-out approach, nurses refer people to the provincial quitline, QuitNow, for cessation services.
  • Free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available for all British Columbia residents, including people with cancer, and subsidized prescription smoking cessation medications are available to eligible residents. People covered under the First Nations Health Authority Health Benefits program can receive additional free NRT.

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

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 and mechanisms for relapse prevention and follow-up GOLD
Pharmacotherapy Offers free varenicline, bupropion and/or NRT GOLD
Person-centred Engages people with cancer in program planning, gathers people’s feedback, and evaluates outcomes of people with cancer GOLD
Culturally competent Offers staff cultural competency training and resources for people with cancer SILVER
Partnership Works with multi-disciplinary team and community partners, with mechanisms for information sharing to track people’s progress GOLD
Indicator measurement and reporting Collects and reports on adoption, reach, uptake and outcome data GOLD

Smoking Cessation Action Framework Implementation Checklist

Impact of funded project (2019-22)

  • Funding and support enabled BC Cancer to implement smoking cessation supports in all six regional cancer centres in British Columbia. BC Cancer partnered with the Government of British Columbia to coordinate referrals from the cancer centres to the provincial quitline, and free NRT from the provincial smoking cessation program.
  • BC Cancer did this by providing nurses and other staff with training sessions, workshops and resources, implementing standardized screening questions about commercial tobacco use for all new people with cancer, developing educational materials for people with cancer, coordinating referral pathways to the quitline and follow-up calls to determine people’s smoking status, and creating a data collection and reporting system.

B.C. cancer care settings offering smoking cessation went from 1 out of 6 in 2018-19 to 6 out of 6 in 2022-23. The implementation level remained at gold from 2019-20 to 2022-23.