Smoking cessation in cancer care in Northwest Territories

Helping patients with cancer to quit smoking

Government of Northwest Territories

  • Most patients requiring cancer care in Northwest Territories go to the Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife and/or the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • At Stanton Territorial Hospital, patients with cancer are asked about their tobacco use at regular intervals, using a patient survey. Patients who want to reduce their tobacco use can receive a prescription for a smoking cessation medication and information about the NWT Quitline.
  • The hospital is developing a more formal approach to supporting patients with cancer to quit smoking, including coordinating smoking cessation care between cancer care settings.
  • Clients registered with the federal Non-Insured Health Benefits Program (NIHB) are eligible to receive free smoking cessation medications; residents not covered under NIHB can receive free smoking cessation medications through the Extended Health Benefits Program.

COVID-19 response: The Partnership-funded project to integrate tobacco cessation in cancer care was temporarily stopped in March 2020 due to staff redeployments to respond to the pandemic.

Cancer patients’ access to smoking cessation support

no smoking iconIn 2020, Stanton Territorial Hospital was working to increase the accessibility of smoking cessation supports to patients with cancer.

Partnership-funded project – Integrating smoking cessation in cancer caretimeline

Overall smoking cessation in cancer care implementation level: Bronze

Category Implementation criteria met Level
Behavioural Counselling Working towards implementing a 3A (Ask, Advise, Act) or 5A (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) model Pre-implementation
Pharmacotherapy Offers free varenicline, bupropion and/or nicotine replacement therapy Gold
Person-Centered Assessing the availability of a patient representative to participate in program planning Pre-implementation
Culturally Competent Offers staff cultural competency training and patient resources Silver
Partnership Determining the availability of smoking treatment expertise Pre-implementation
Indicator Measurement and Reporting Developing tools and infrastructure to track program performance and collect data Pre-implementation

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