This guideline covers brief interventions and referrals in primary care and community settings for people who smoke. It aims to ensure that everyone who smokes is advised and encouraged to stop and given the support they need. It emphasises the importance of targeting people in hard to reach and deprived groups in which smoking rates are higher.


This guideline includes:

  • practice recommendations
  • strategic recommendations for policy makers, commissioners and managers

Who is it for?

  • GPs and other professionals working in local health services, including primary care trusts, pharmacies, dental practices and NHS hospitals
  • Members of the public

Is this guideline up to date?

Any update deemed necessary will be incorporated in the partial update of PH10 scheduled to start in November 2015. See the guideline in development page for progress on the update.

Next review: To be scheduled

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline was previously called brief interventions and referral for smoking cessation.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.