Review decision: 

Any update deemed necessary will be incorporated in the partial update of PH10 scheduled to start in November 2015.

Next review: To be scheduled

This guidance is for GPs and other professionals working in local health services – in primary care trusts (PCTs), pharmacies and dental practices – and NHS hospitals.

The recommendations include the following advice:

  • Ask people who smoke how interested they are in quitting.
  • If they want to stop, refer them to an intensive support service such as NHS Stop Smoking Services.
  • If they are unwilling or unable to accept a referral, offer a stop smoking aid (pharmacotherapy).
  • A range of NHS agencies should offer advice and support on how to stop smoking.
  • Monitoring systems should be set up so that health professionals know whether or not their patients smoke.

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 are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance with those duties.