Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Minimal Smoking Cessation Intervention - The 4As of Smoking Cessation

Minimal Smoking Cessation Intervention (Lasting 1 to 3 minutes)

Every nurse will:

ASK:       About tobacco use with all clients (e.g., “have you used any form of tobacco in the past six months?”) and assess readiness to quit. If time allows, assess the person’s level of motivation to change behaviour, using motivational interviewing techniques.             
Document tobacco use status (e.g. non-smoker, smoker, ex-smoker).

ADVISE: Every tobacco user of the importance of quitting in a non-judgmental and unambiguous manner.


By providing minimal intervention:

  • Refer to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline 1-877-513-5333 or
  • Offer support and self-help resources, such as booklets.
  • Inform about, or refer to a community stop smoking clinic or service.
  • Refer to other healthcare provider.

ARRANGE:    Follow-up or referral

Addiction and Mental Health
Integrating Smoking Cessation into Daily Nursing Practice
Point of Care Resources