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Smoking Cessation Engagement

Project managed by:
Gippsland PHN
QUIT Pharmacy Campaign

Gippsland PHN in partnership with Quit Victoria has designed a pharmacy-based project aiming to increase smoking cessation, with a strong focus on best practice utilisation of nicotine replacement therapy and utilising the role of a pharmacist in a smoking cessation attempt. The project is modelled on Quit Victoria project which offered free training for pharmacists, updating their knowledge on ‘Best Practice Smoking Cessation’.

The project aims to help pharmacists to identify individuals regularly presenting for specific health conditions, whereby smoking directly increases risk or harm. This is an opportunity for pharmacists to provide smoking cessation interventions specific to the individual presenting. The health conditions will be identified by local pharmacists through pre-training surveys to ensure they are appropriate.

The project will include:

  • Delivering accredited training with pharmacists on the 3-step Brief Intervention Model.
  • Delivering training with pharmacy assistants and retail staff on smoking cessation.
  • Developing resources to support health professionals provide an intervention based off specific existing identified conditions where smoking directly increases risk or harm,
  • Developing a community facing promotional campaign, encouraging community to utilise for smoking cessation.

A pre-project survey to inform the localisation aspects of training activities and support for pharmacists has been developed by the Collaborative Evaluation Unit at Federation University and is ready for dissemination. Additionally, the development of a community facing campaign encouraging use of pharmacists as a trusted source of smoking cessation information has begun.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the timelines for implementation as significant changes to pharmacy workflow and pandemic planning and management were priority during this time. The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted the delivery methods of training and education within this project. In partnership with Quit Victoria, training has been adjusted to a combination of online sessions and webinar platforms. Gippsland PHN has also sought the guidance of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia to determine a time for a re-engagement strategy to minimise risk to the project.

Latrobe Smoking Cessation Clinic Development

Gippsland PHN began to investigate a face to face model for smoking cessation support in Latrobe in early 2019 by facilitating a series of three workshops. It was agreed that while the workshops successfully explored concepts of a smoking cessation model, a more comprehensive model design/proposal was required before proceeding to establishing a service.

In late 2019, Gippsland PHN entered into a short-term contract agreement with LCHS, whereby LCHS employed a Project Officer to develop a service model for a face to face service for smoking cessation support. LCHS were required to present their model to the PCG and submit a final report outlining the model to Gippsland PHN.

Gippsland PHN commissioned MMResearch to conduct a program of qualitative research with Latrobe smokers to provide community input for the development of the model proposal for the LCHS Smoking Cessation Clinic.

The overall aim of the research was to gain input from smokers in the Latrobe Valley about their perceptions of the proposed smoking clinic, their interest in using the service and the appeal of the different service elements. The research design comprised a program of three group discussions with smokers, segmented by age (18-24, 25-34, 35-49).

The main findings addressed the following several research objectives:

  • Interest in support to reduce and stop smoking
  • Smoking Clinic – interest in model
  • Smoking clinic – the practicalities
  • Smoking clinic – promotion and advertising

On conclusion of the research, there were recommendations put forward to Latrobe Community Health Service for further consideration in designing the model, with a final model provided to Gippsland PHN for assessment.

Pitch to Quit 2020

In 2020 Gippsland PHN again delivered the Pitch to Quit competition inviting Latrobe community members, with or without graphic design or media experience, to pitch a concept for a localised community facing Quit smoking media campaign. The Pitch to Quit 2020 promotional period was launched on 27 April 2020 (mainly via Facebook) and ran for two weeks prior to entries opening on Monday 11 May 2020, including the launch of the competition website Entries for the competition were open for four weeks, closing on Sunday 14 June 2020. During the four-week period that entries were open, various methods were used to engage the community, following the COVID-19 social distancing requirements at that time.

Gippsland PHN used the following methods to promote the competition and engage the Latrobe Community:

  • Latrobe Valley Express Advert
  • Latrobe Valley Express Media Release
  • Three locally developed promotional videos: Moe, Morwell and Churchill
  • Posters for schools, cafes, libraries
  • Business cards for distribution across settings

On closing of entries on Sunday 14 June 2020, the finalists attended a workshop with judges for assessment. The next report will include further detail of the assessment and progression of Pitch To Quit into a community campaign.

Smoke Free Gippsland

The Smoke Free Gippsland project was first launched in 2018, in which Quit Victoria and Gippsland PHN developed and delivered training for General Practitioners (GPs) around the Ask, Advise, Help model for supporting smoking cessation. The training consisted of two components; a face-to-face session and a follow up plan, do, study, act (PDSA) activity. This training was aimed at clinics in Latrobe Valley (also included some interested clinics from South Gippsland and Bass Coast) and clinics were offered a financial incentive on completion of the face-to-face session and PDSA activity.

The training showed good attendance for the face-to-face sessions, but minimal completion of the follow-up PDSA activity by GPs. Post the roll out of the training, Quit Victoria converted the training in to an online training video, supported by an online model designed to step GPs through the PDSA activities. The conversion to deliver this training online was to encourage and allow all Gippsland practices and GPs to have access to and complete the training.

A communication package was developed by Quit Victoria with the support of Gippsland PHN. Gippsland PHN was responsible for the dissemination of promotional communications. Promotion was achieved through a media launch, social media posts on Gippsland PHN social media channels (Twitter and Facebook) and a range of promotional collateral shared with Gippsland General Practices. Online modules were launched on World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2019.

More recently in late 2019, Gippsland PHN, in consultation with Quit Victoria, aimed to again increase the uptake of Smokefree Gippsland through revising the communication strategy used to promote the training to clinics and GPs across the whole of Gippsland. The revised communication strategy included Gippsland PHN repackaging Smokefree Gippsland to align it with the Australian Government’s Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive Measure 2; Proportion of Patients with a Smoking Status.

By using the incentive payments available for quality improvement measures that surround smoking, Gippsland PHN aimed to increase the uptake of Smokefree Gippsland within those practices whom register to participation in the practice incentives program. This was to be achieved by:

  • Developing and sharing a business case with practices that highlights the alignments between Smokefree Gippsland and the PIP QI Incentive.
  • Align outcomes of Smokefree Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles with requirements of PIP QI Incentive.
  • Incorporate timelines of the PIP QI Incentive into Smokefree Gippsland.
  • Provide support through resources, tools and Regional Support Officers for clinics and General Practitioners whilst completing Smokefree Gippsland.
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