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Quitting smoking is the best thing a person can do for their health. While that’s not new, this might be: having brief advice conversations with patients about their smoking can be fast, simple and effective. 

Smokefree Gippsland is a joint initiative being implemented by Quit and Gippsland Primary Health Network (PHN) as a result of the State Government’s investment in the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone.

It aims to:

  • Help reduce smoking rates across Gippsland by reinforcing the role of general practitioners in helping patients to quit smoking.
  • Motivate GPs to complete Quit’s online training programs, Brief Advice Training and Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle.
  • Remind people who smoke in the community to talk to their GP for advice about the best way to quit.
  • Provide a range of useful smoking cessation resources for GPs and patients, as well as materials for clinic waiting rooms.

Smoking Cessation Brief Advice

One in every 33 conversations in which a doctor advises a patient to quit smoking results in the patient successfully quitting. 

Dr Paul Brougham, a GP in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and Quit advisor, discusses the importance of addressing smoking in the video below.

Quit, in conjunction with health professionals, has developed a 3-step brief advice model: Ask, Advise, Help. It focuses on identifying smokers and referring them to best practice treatment – a combination of pharmacotherapy and referral to Quitline.

  • Ask all patients about smoking status and document this in their medical record
  • Advise patients who smoke about the best way to quit, and why this is important
  • Help by offering referral to behavioural intervention through Quitline (13 7848) and prescribing smoking cessation pharmacotherapy

 Find links below to Quit’s online training for GPs and other resources to help your patients quit smoking.  

Below is a short video demonstrating how to put the Ask, Advise, Help brief advice model into practice.

Training for General Practitioners

Quit, with input from GPs, has developed two online training courses:

  • Brief Advice Training
  • Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle

You can access the training here.

Referring Your Patients to Quitline

Quitline is a confidential, evidenced-based telephone counselling service.  Highly-trained Quitline specialists use behaviour change techniques and motivational interviewing over multiple calls to help people plan, make and sustain a quit attempt.

Watch Dr Cathy Segan, Quit’s behavioural scientist and internationally recognised behavioural intervention researcher, describe how the Quitline works in the video below. 

There are three ways to refer your patients to Quitline:

  • Use the Quitline fax referral sheet
  • Refer patients online
  • Send Quitline referral letters from your general practice software. (If you use Best Practice or Medical Director, these referral letters should already be on your system. Instructions to manually upload referral letters onto other software or older versions of software can be found here).


Quit, working with health professionals and consumers, has developed a range of resources to help you help your patients stop smoking. These can be ordered from the resource order form below.

GP Guide helping patients stop smoking - Smokefree Gippsland

A brief advice quick reference guide for GPs, including information on referring to Quitline and prescribing pharmacotherapy. 

Drug Interactions with smoking - smokefree gippsland

A table outlining drug interactions with smoking, detailing the impact of smoking cessation on drug dosages.

FAQ fact sheet – Brief Advice Training

FAQ fact sheet – Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle

A 15-minute webinar answering your key questions about the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle, including how to access it and how to successfully complete it. 

Most of the above resources are available to order. Download the Quit Resource Order Form.

Visit the Quit website for a range of other smoking cessation resources.

The Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association (LEAHA) provides culturally-appropriate smoking cessation services for Aboriginal people in the Gippsland Region. Find out more information »

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