Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Guiding Principles/Assumptions

  •  Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death worldwide.
  • Regular tobacco use is an addiction that requires treatment, support, and repeated interventions for clients.
  • Nurses at all points of care have an ethical and professional responsibility to provide access to evidence-based, best practice treatment and support to clients who use tobacco.
  • Clients have the right to access tobacco intervention treatment to support withdrawal symptoms and addiction management in any health-care sector, at all points of care.
  • Tobacco users may relapse several times before achieving abstinence, and nurses need to re-engage clients in the tobacco intervention process (see Appendix F: Strategies to Avoid Relapse).
  • It is important to encourage individuals who use tobacco, as well as those who do not, to make their homes tobacco-free to protect children, families, themselves, and others from exposure to second-hand smoke and third hand smoke.
  • Nursing education programs, nursing colleges, and nursing associations have a responsibility to educate and support nurses to provide evidence-based tobacco interventions.
  • Nurses are ideally positioned to take a leadership role in tobacco interventions at the individual, program, and/or policy level.
  • Systematic and comprehensive tobacco interventions implemented in every care setting will increase success in managing quit attempts and withdrawal symptoms, and promote harm reduction and tobacco cessation.
Addiction and Mental Health
Integrating Tobacco Interventions into Daily Practice
Background Information