Website that encourages nurses to counsel smokers is the first in Canada

    TORONTO, June 6 /CNW/ - A new website for nurses highlights the key role
they play in helping people quit smoking and gives them proven methods for
discussing smoking habits with all their patients.
    This afternoon, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) will
launch at its International Conference on
Evidence-Based Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) being held in Markham. The
website promotes methods outlined in 'Integrating Smoking Cessation into Daily
Nursing Practice', an RNAO guideline developed by a panel of nursing experts.
This project was funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion's Smoke-Free
Ontario Strategy (SFO).
    "Our goal is to have every single nurse in the province ask people if
they smoke. This website will give nurses the evidence and information they
need to advise, counsel and coach smokers. It's a customized resource for
nurses and other health-care providers - a place where they can share ideas
and techniques for supporting people who want to quit smoking," says Tazim
Virani, program director of RNAO's BPG program.
    Nurses who visit the website will learn how to use a counselling method
called 'Ask, Advise, Assist, Arrange.' This method recommends asking all
clients about tobacco use, advising them of the importance of quitting,
helping them by providing information about how to quit and arranging a
follow-up meeting or a referral to another health-care provider. Evidence
shows that these discussions can make a significant difference to smokers who
need information and support.
    "Smoking is the most important public health issue in terms of chronic
disease prevention. Some nurses don't realize that they can get across key
messages in just a few minutes. This website is designed to inspire individual
nurses and the organizations they work for to make a commitment to smoking
cessation," says RN Janet Nevala, who was involved in the development of
RNAO's guideline and the new website.
    In addition to the website, RNAO will launch other resources for nurses
including a video, a pocket guide and a poster.
    RNAO's International Conference on Evidence-Based Best Practice
Guidelines focuses on evidence-based guidelines related to excellence in
clinical practice and healthy work environments. It brings together
clinicians, decisions makers, researchers and other experts from all
health-care sectors. The conference will be taking place from Wednesday, June
6 to Friday, June 8 at the Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham Centre and Spa. To
view the conference program, please visit:
    RNAO's ambitious Best Practice Guidelines Program, funded by the Ministry
of Health and Long-Term Care was launched in 1999 to provide the best
available evidence for patient care across a wide spectrum of health-care
areas. The 30 guidelines developed to date are a substantive contribution
towards building excellence in Ontario's health-care system. They are
available to nurses and other health-care professionals across Canada and
abroad. To learn more about RNAO's Nursing Best Practice Guidelines Program or
to view these resources, please visit

    The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario is the professional
association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has
lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice,
increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and
influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

For further information:

For further information: Jill-Marie Burke, Media Relations Coordinator,
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Work phone: (416) 408-5606, Mobile
phone: (647) 504-4008, Toll-free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.250, E-mail:

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