Guidance on remote consults for Stop Smoking and upcoming webinars


Dear Stop Smoking Advisors,


I hope you and your families are all safe & well and you are looking after yourselves! Self-care is vital at this time 😊

As remote consultations are set to stay for the immediate future, I thought I would pull together and share with you some resources and ideas. Some of you will no doubt have made your own “new ways of working” remotely with smokers, and below are just some suggestions/ideas that might already be in your practice.


We are hearing that in the main part, it is telephone support that most practices and pharmacies are offering, but if there is scope for video consults (people are using AccuRx, and Skype for these) then the uptake and outcomes can be better. The “face to face” aspect of video calls is really helpful, not always easy though!



Earlier this week a PDF from the NCSCT was published for remote consultations for smoking cessation- of relevance to you are pages 5 to 10 (pg. 8 & 9 especially) and page 12.



  • DATA COLLECTION: Monitoring form- see attached new version which can be sent via email/post  (if you are a GP practice with AccuRx this document could be sent via text link ), to the client for them to complete and return (by hand/post) prior to the first session. Otherwise you can of course, complete over the phone with the client.


  • MEDICATION/TREATMENT OPTION: Showing the patients the different treatment options and explaining – see attached revised version of Treatment Options. Again, this could be sent via text, email or post before 1st session.  You can also send links to clients via text/email to direct them to read about products and options, the best one I can suggest is as this talks through all the options. Doing this ahead of signing them up and prescribing means they have a good understanding and can make informed choices. The website also has options for some other languages (I think Urdu, Polish are two).


  • TIME CONSTRAINTS: Do not be tempted to shorten the normal appt time allotted for the first session- 20mins as an absolute minimum always.


  • CREATING/MAINTAINING RAPPORT: If you can use video calling (whichever format you can) this is so good for you and them! You are able to use some non-verbal communication and the results of those using video calling are improved Quit rates 😊


  • CONTINUITY: please do formally set up times and dates as to when you will call/video call your client with them, a routine is helpful to give them a sense of continuity of care and also your interest in their quit attempt. It is also important to make sure reception/frontline staff understand that you can’t always “just squeeze” consultations in at theirs/clients behest.



This is addressed in the NCSCT pdf and here below, this could also be made into a text template and sent out :

Self-reported smoking status alone, without carbon monoxide (CO) testing, is used to assess smoking status and clients should be asked to be honest when reporting this. For example:

                      “How are you getting on, have you managed to stay smokefree since our last

                       telephone / video appointment?”

To get an accurate response it is often useful to clarify the client’s response by offering them the following options or by asking them to confirm that they have not had even one puff on a cigarette:

  • ■ No, not even a puff
  • ■ Yes, just a few puffs
  • ■ Yes, between 1 and 5 cigarettes
  • ■ Yes, more than 5 cigarettes


NB:  Please make sure you have removed batteries from CO machines, so that with lack of use they don’t end up with burst batteries.


I am happy to offer telephone support to any complex clients from your services and of course remain ready and willing to help you if you need!!


If you have any other tips or tricks that you would like to share, please let me know- we are all learning in these strange times!



Kind regards,




Nicky Coote

Service Lead & Specialist Smoking Cessation Practitioner

London Borough of Barnet

2 Bristol Avenue, Colindale, NW9 4EW

Tel: 020 8359 7168 | Mobile: 07599 533547| Web:

Email:  PID email :