New Brunswick

Smoking cessation in cancer care

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

  • All five cancer clinics that are part of the Horizon Health Network regional health authority offer people with cancer support to quit smoking and are working toward offering culturally appropriate supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis with cancer. The cancer centre in the Vitalité Health Network regional health authority has not yet implemented a smoking cessation program for people with cancer.
  • Staff at cancer clinics screen all people for commercial tobacco use when they are accessing care. Using an opt-out approach, a healthcare provider provides smoking cessation counselling in the clinic during the initial visit or virtually and offers comprehensive follow-up support to help people quit.
  • Project funding enabled people with cancer to receive free smoking cessation medications until 2022. The provincial government is now funding smoking cessation medications for all people with cancer that access care in clinics that offer smoking cessation support as part of their treatment.

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, follow-up and extension of support to family and friends GOLD
Pharmacotherapy Offers free varenicline, bupropion and/or nicotine replacement therapy GOLD
Person-centred Engages people with cancer in program planning, gathers people’s feedback, and evaluates outcomes for people with cancer GOLD
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 GOLD
Indicator measurement and reporting Collects and reports on adoption, reach, uptake and outcome data GOLD

*Reflects cancer centres in Horizon Health Network regional health authority only

Smoking Cessation Action Framework Implementation Checklist

Impact of funded project (2019-22)

  • Building on a previously funded implementation project, funding and support enabled the New Brunswick Cancer Network and Horizon Health Network’s Centre of Excellence for Clinical Smoking Cessation to expand and strengthen existing smoking cessation supports for people with cancer. They did this by expanding the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation program to more outpatient cancer clinics, providing education and training to healthcare providers, offering free smoking cessation medications at the point of care, and improving follow-up support for people with cancer to include system navigation and behavioural and physiological support.
  • Partners collaborated with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to measure the costs and impact of providing free smoking cessation medications at the point of care and comprehensive follow-up support. The evaluation demonstrated that people with cancer who received free smoking cessation medications and clinical follow-up support were more likely to make a quit attempt, and this resulted in a significant increase in the number of people successfully quitting at six months compared to people who received smoking cessation support alone. The ability to provide no-cost medication also increased clinician engagement.
  • A business case was developed based on the economic evaluation and presented to the provincial government. As a result, provincial funding was secured for smoking cessation medications for all people with cancer that access care in clinics that offer smoking cessation support as part of their treatment plan. People are now eligible to receive as much medication as they need, for as long as required.

New Brunswick cancer care settings offering smoking cessation went from 2 out of 8 in 2018-19 to 5 out of 6 in 2022-23. The implementation level went from silver in 2019-20 to gold in 2022-23.