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Quit Centre is now live – how can it help GPs?


Eileen Cole


7/03/2022 2:32:14 PM

SPONSORED: New website will make finding GP-accredited training and resources on smoking and vaping cessation easier than ever before.

GP talking to a patient about smoking cessation.
Health professionals in every discipline have a duty of care to their patients to help them stop smoking. (Image: Supplied)

Cancer Council Victoria has launched a new National Quit Resource and Training Centre for Nicotine Cessation (Quit Centre) to help GPs implement smoking cessation clinical guidelines released by the RACGP and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
 
Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia and 2019 figures show that 11% of Australians aged 14 and over smoke daily. Tobacco-related health disparities are disproportionately high in some population groups, where initiation has been higher and/or smoking prevalence has not decreased at rates seen in the general population.
 
Few patients visit a doctor with smoking addiction as their main complaint, and time-pressured consultations often focus on other issues.
 
However, Medicare rebates for patients to access smoking and vaping cessation care provided by their GP have been available under Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Counselling MBS Services since July 2021. This is an opportunity for GPs to proactively offer support to patients who smoke and or vape. 
 
The Quit Centre has been developed by health professionals, to support and enable clinicians to provide cessation care routinely. It brings into one accessible place Australian clinical guidelines for both GPs and pharmacists, along with clinical tools, online training and the latest news and research.
 
GPs will have access to RACGP and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) accredited evidence-based online training modules, including Smoking Cessation Brief Advice Training for General Practitioners and Nicotine Vaping Products (NVPs): considerations for GPs.
 
Training is free, easy to access and provides CPD points.
 
Quit Centre is also a portal for easy referral to Quitline. Provision of cessation care in general practice is supported and facilitated by the multi-session individualised behavioural intervention that specialist Quitline counsellors provide.
 
Smoking cessation rates increase when patients are referred to an evidence based Quitline service that tailors their counselling to the patient. TGA-approved pharmacotherapies in combination with behavioural interventions remain first-line treatment for smoking cessation.
 
However, significant practice changes have occurred in the wake of the 1 October, 2021 rescheduling of nicotine by the TGA and the potential contamination of varenicline (sold as Champix), resulting in product recall and subsequent shortages due to a pause on global distribution.
 
GPs can visit Quit Centre at quitcentre.org.au, or subscribe to the Quit Centre Quarterly newsletter, to keep ahead of the latest news, research and practice insights from other health professionals.
 
The National Best Practice Support Service for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health under the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Program.
 
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