Smoking cessation in cancer care in Quebec

Helping patients with cancer to quit smoking

Quebec Cancer Program

  • The Ministry of Health and Social Services’ Quebec Cancer Program has identified smoking cessation for patients with cancer as one of its priorities.
  • Smoking cessation support is offered to outpatients in several cancer centres in Quebec. Patients are referred to smoking cessation resources, including one-on-one and group programs, Quit Smoking Centres and the telephone quitline (J’ARRÊTE).
  • Seniors, individuals receiving social assistance and individuals without private health insurance are eligible for 12 weeks of free quit smoking medications each year, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or prescription medications.

COVID-19 response: Dedicated staff time has been made available so that the Smoking Cessation Treatment in Cancer Care project can be implemented, even with staff redeployments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cancer patients’ access to smoking cessation support

no smoking iconIn 2020, 22 of the 30 cancer centres in Quebec offered outpatients a referral to a community resource to quit smoking, with five of the centres offering a comprehensive smoking cessation program. Culturally appropriate supports for patients with cancer from Indigenous communities were available in three of the five programs.

Partnership-funded project – Smoking cessation treatment in cancer care


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 subsidized varenicline, bupropion and/or NRT Silver
Person-Centered Assessing availability of patient representative to participate in program planning Pre-implementation
Culturally Competent Working to develop cultural competency training materials for untrained staff Pre-implementation
Partnership Works with a multi-disciplinary team and community partners Silver
Indicator Measurement and Reporting Developing tools and infrastructure to track program performance and collect data Pre-implementation

*Overall evaluation based on a survey of cancer centres in March 2021.

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