National SC Initiative - Project Description

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In Canada, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of premature death, disease and disability, and yet 19 per cent of the population continues to smoke. Evidence suggests that even minimal intervention by health-care professionals can dramatically reduce rates of smoking.

The goal of this national initiative is to strengthen nurses’ capacity to help their clients by implementing smoking cessation strategies and techniques in their daily practice. The project will draw on the multi-pronged provincial strategy that has been successfully implemented in Ontario. The Smoking Cessation Best Practice Initiative, funded by the province’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, has reached over 350 organizations and has established close to 1500 smoking-cessation best practice champions (Aug 2012). In partnership with the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), RNAO will utilize this already established approach and infrastructure as the foundation for the national initiative. With a focus on knowledge transfer, mobilization of networks and increased use of existing services and programs, the RNAO National Nursing Best Practice Smoking Cessation Initiative will consist of six key elements:

1) Establish up to 10 public health organization/agency-based smoking cessation project sites across Canada;

2) Establish a Nurse Smoking Cessation Facilitator within each project site;

3) Develop a National Smoking Cessation Champions Network

4) Engage Schools of Nursing and Nursing Students across the country

5) Partner with provincial, territorial and national tobacco control strategies

6) Enhance the TobaccoFreeRNAO.ca website, eLearning course, and other resources

This initiative will include the training of 800-1,000 Smoking Cessation Champions through the delivery of regional workshops.

The overall goal of the project is to reach 30,000 nursing students, nurses and other health-care professionals nationwide. Support for this project has been received from a wide range of stakeholders including, schools of nursing, regional tobacco control networks, regional and national smoking cessation programs, and provincial and territorial governments. The initiative has also been strongly supported by CNA member associations representing eight different jurisdictions. The associations will provide support to the initiative through marketing and dissemination and facilitating the participation of members in workshops and advocating for the system-wide implementation of smoking cessation best practices.

The RNAO is very excited to embark on this journey to improve the health of all Canadians and to advance tobacco cessation nationwide.