Training for practitioners and partners

Very Brief Advice training

Please bear with us whilst this page is under construction. Not all links are yet functioning.

Brief advice can be carried out by anyone.  It can take as little as 30 seconds and is known to be powerful when carried out by a health professional.  Asking about smoking and being able to signpost a smoker to an NHS Stop Smoking Service is recommended for all who come into contact with smokers through their work.

Here are some reasons to offer brief advice:

  • Every contact with a patient or client is an opportunity to provide advice on quitting. Offering brief advice to stop smoking is the single most cost-effective and clinically proven preventative action a healthcare professional can take.[1]
  • Smokers may take several times to quit smoking successfully, so it’s important to keep giving advice at every opportunity.[2]
  • Smokers are up to four times more likely to quit smoking successfully with support from the NHS Stop Smoking Services.[3]
  • Over 60% of smokers want to quit.
  • Patients will not resent being asked whether they smoke or not – they expect to be asked by their health professional.

[1] Anczak J, Nogler R. Tobacco cessation in primary care: maximizing intervention strategies. Clinical Medicine & Research 2003;1(3): 201–216.

[2] Fu S, Partin M, Snyder A et al. Promoting repeat tobacco dependence treatment: are relapsed smokers interested? American Journal of Managed Care 2006;12: 235–43.

[3] West R, McNeill A, Raw M. Smoking cessation guidelines for health professionals: an update. Thorax 2000; 55(12): 987–99.

There are a number of training options available depending on your setting and role:

GP setting

All settings

  • Brief Advice on Secondhand Smoke: Promoting smokefree homes and cars (National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training)
  • Health Promotion Devon can provide Very Brief Advice Training for your organisation. This training takes between 10-60 minutes to deliver, depending on your requirements.  It is suitable for all staff, including clinicians and receptionists, who come into contact with smokers.  This supports the Stop Smoking Practitioner in your place of work by keeping the referrals coming to them. This training can be delivered on site if a number of staff wishes to be trained at the same time. Please call 01884 836024 if you are interested in arranging this training for your workplace.