Smoking cessation in cancer care in British Columbia

Helping patients with cancer to quit smoking

BC Cancer Smoking Cessation Program

Offers smoking cessation support to ambulatory patients with cancer:

  • Patients are screened for smoking status on intake forms. Nurses follow up with patients who smoke, advise them of the benefits of quitting, and refer patients to the provincial quitline, QuitNow, for cessation services.
  • Free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available for all residents and subsidized smoking cessation prescription medications are available to eligible residents.

COVID-19 response: The smoking cessation program has continued to remain a priority during the pandemic.

Cancer patients’ access to smoking cessation support

no smoking iconIn 2020, all 6 cancer centres in British Columbia offered outpatients support to quit smoking, including culturally appropriate supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients with cancer.

Partnership-funded project – BC Cancer Smoking Cessation Program


Overall smoking cessation in cancer care implementation level: Gold

Category 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-Centered Engages patients in program planning, gathers patient feedback, and evaluates patient outcomes Gold
Culturally Competent Offers staff cultural competency training and patient resources Silver
Partnership Works with multi-disciplinary team and community partners, with mechanisms for information sharing to track patient progress Gold
Indicator Measurement and Reporting Collects and reports on adoption, reach, uptake and outcome data Gold

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