PhysioUpdate 15th March 2022


Physio Rachael Moses urges clinicians to 'make every contact count' in bid to stub out smoking

Leading respiratory physiotherapist Rachael Moses has urged clinicians to ‘make every contact count’ by encouraging patients to take the necessary steps to quit smoking.

Speaking exclusively to PhysioUpdate on No Smoking Day 2022 (9 March), Ms Moses, a consultant physiotherapist and president of the British Thoracic Society (BTS), said: ‘Making every contact count as clinicians is so important to ensure we take the opportunity to discuss smoking habits and behaviours and [make] the offer of referral to tobacco dependency teams.

‘The most successful interventions for smoking cessation are based on personalised care approaches and shared decision making.’

Breath of fresh air: the BTS offers clinicians help on running tobacco dependence services

Ms Moses continued: ‘We know that tobacco dependency is a condition that needs dedicated, holistic evidenced based interventions. There are many elements of these interventions – including information and advice, behavioural therapy, pharmacology and peer support.’

Making every contact count as clinicians is so important to ensure we take the opportunity to discuss smoking habits and behaviours and [make] the offer of referral to tobacco dependency teams [Rachael Moses]

What the BTS offers

In a bid to help clinicians to plan and deliver a comprehensive service, the BTS has developed a Respiratory Futures website, which features practical step-by-step guides, good practice examples and educational materials. The society, which has more than 4,000 members, has also published a ‘tobacco dependency roadmap’ – a seven-step guide to setting up a tobacco dependence treatment service.

Less than half of hospital patients who smoke get advice

To coincide with this year’s No Smoking Day, the BTS released preliminary results of an audit of tobacco dependency treatment services in UK hospitals. The audit is based on more than 14,000 patient records from 120 UK hospitals in 2021. It revealed that less than half (45 per cent) of smokers in hospitals received very brief advice (VBA) – in which healthcare practitioners ask patients if they smoke, give advice on how to stop and offer appropriate help.

The revelation that VBA is only being offered to a minority of smokers suggests that the NHS is missing a ‘golden opportunity’ to help smokers beat their tobacco addiction, the BTS said.

Training gap

Clinicians at all levels should be able to provide VBA at any point during a patient’s hospital journey to capitalise on the effectiveness of this intervention. However, the audit showed that only half of NHS trusts were offering frontline healthcare staff regular smoking cessation training, the BTS said.

The audit also found that pharmacotherapy (nicotine replacement therapy and addiction-breaking drugs) was only offered to a third of patients who smoked (33 per cent). On a more positive note, however, the BTS said that the percentage of smokers among adult inpatients appeared to have fallen from 24 in 2019 to 21 per cent in 2021.

'Considerable opportunity'

Professor Sanjay Agrawal, England’s national specialty adviser for tobacco addiction, said the BTS audit findings highlighted the 'considerable opportunity to screen and treat tobacco dependency across the NHS'.

Professor Agrawal added: ‘The NHS Long Term Plan is committing significant resource to put in place tobacco dependency treatment services across hospitals, maternity and community mental health services by 2023-24, that will lead to the systematic identification and treatment of tobacco dependency. We look forward to working with BTS and other partners on this programme of work to improve lung health and reduce health inequalities.’

Focus needed from 'frontline organisations'

Paul Walker, BTS chair, said: ‘Tackling tobacco dependence is fundamental to respiratory medicine and all respiratory professionals need to make every contact count, using that opportunity to offer advice and help to aid smokers to quit.'

Dr Walker added: ‘As we begin to recover services post-Covid, we need to ensure that all hospitalised smokers are offered advice and pharmacotherapy, rather than the minority who currently receive this. This requires a focus from frontline healthcare organisations on smoking cessation training which is essential to deliver this intervention.'

The full audit report will be published later this spring. It will include more data on the availability and prescription rates of pharmacotherapy and other NICE-recommended interventions to quit smoking, as well as examining the availability of tobacco dependency treatment services.

For more information on VBA’s effectiveness, see: Brief opportunistic smoking cessation interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare advice to quit and offer of assistance. Addiction, 107 (6), 2012. Visit: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03770.x

To find out more about the BTS programme on running or setting-up tobacco dependence treatment services, visit: https://www.respiratoryfutures.org.uk/programmes/tobacco-dependency-project/

A toolkit for professionals is also available on the Today is the Day website. See: https://www.todayistheday.co.uk



Want to receive newsletters?


FREE membership

Join Us

Sign up today for membership and get...

✓ Regular newsletters
✓ Full website access
✓ Sponsor Benefits

We’ll keep you connected so you’ll NEVER MISS AN UPDATE!

Join Here

Previous newsletters


PhysioUpdate 24th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 19th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 17th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 12th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 10th May 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 5th May 2022
PhysioUpdate 3rd May 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 28th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 26th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 19th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 14th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 12th April 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 7th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 5th April 2022
PhysioUpdate 31st March 2022
PhysioUpdate 29th March 2022
PhysioUpdate 22nd March 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 17th March 2022
PhysioUpdate 8th March 2022
PhysioUpdate 3rd March 2022
PhysioUpdate 1st March 2022
PhysioUpdate 22nd February 2022
PhysioUpdate 17th February 2022
PhysioUpdate 15th February 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 10th February 2022
PhysioUpdate 8th February 2022
PhysioUpdate 3rd February 2022
PhysioUpdate 1st February 2022
PhysioUpdate 25th January 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 20th January 2022
PhysioUpdate 18th January 2022
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 13th January 2022
PhysioUpdate 11th January 2022
PhysioUpdate 28th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 21st December 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 16th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 14th December 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 9th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 7th December 2021
PhysioUpdate 30th November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 25th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 23rd November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 18th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 16th November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 11th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 9th November 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd November 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 28th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 26th October 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 21st October 2021
PhysioUpdate 19th October 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 14th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 12th October 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 7th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 5th October 2021
PhysioUpdate 28th September 2021
PhysioUpdate 21st September 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 16th September 2021
PhysioUpdate 14th September 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 9th September 2021
PhysioUpdate 7th September 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 2nd September 2021
PhysioUpdate 24th August 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 19th August 2021
PhysioUpdate 17th August 2021
PhysioUpdate 3rd August 2021
PhysioUpdate 27th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 20th July 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 15th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 13th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 6th July 2021
PhysioUpdate 29th June 2021
PhysioUpdate 22nd June 2021
PhysioUpdate Suppliers News 18th June
PhysioUpdate 15th June 2021
PhysioUpdate 8th June 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd June 2021
PhysioUpdate 4th May 2021
PhysioUpdate 27th April 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 22nd April
PhysioUpdate 6th April 2021
PhysioUpdate 30th March 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 25th March
PhysioUpdate 23rd March 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 18th March 2021
PhysioUpdate 16th March 2021
PhysioUpdate 9th March 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd March 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 25th February
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 18th February
PhysioUpdate 16th February 2021
PhysioUpdate 2nd February 2021
PhysioUpdate Supplier News 21st January
PhysioUpdate 19th January 2021
PhysioUpdate 5th January 2021
PhysioUpdate 22nd December 2020
Industry News
9 December 2020
By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.