Smoke-Free Communities

Exciting new developments in 2024.
Smoke-Free Community of Practice

Now into its second year, the Smoke-Free Community of Practice is a great group of people from community service organisations who share knowledge, learnings, and new ideas to prioritise smoke/vape-free conversations and activities.

The Community of Practice provides support, encouragement and resources for:

  • Community service organisations wherever they are on the smoke-free journey; and
  • Workers to make smoke-free activities part of everyday practice.

If you would like to join us for our next online Community of Practice meeting, please contact Melissa Snadden, Smoking Cessation Project Coordinator, via email.

Community Smoke-Free Projects Program

We now have ten fantastic case studies that summarise a broad range of community-led, place-based smoke-free projects. The case studies explain what the project was, successes and learnings, and provide links to more resources. The first case study to share with you was led by the Wyndarra Centre, who created a fresh, new, smoke-free entry to the centre and learnt how to start conversations about smoking. Read Wyndarra’s story.

Wyndarra’s key learnings:

  • Your local community is supportive and willing to help.
  • Use vouchers to access nicotine replacement therapy at your local pharmacy.
  • Consider the time and communication needed to get everyone on board with your idea.
  • Think about how you can make your work and break spaces more pleasant for non-smokers.

2022/23: Conversations around Smoking Cessation

As part of the Smoke-Free Communities Project, TasCOSS was engaged by the Department of Health to better understand the potential role of Tasmanian community service organisations in supporting smoking cessation, particularly among priority population groups.

Through conversations with community service organisations, peak bodies and other stakeholders, a clear understanding of the current enablers and barriers for community service organisations in supporting smoking cessation was achieved. The most commonly heard themes were:

  • A perception that talking about smoking is not a priority.
  • Lack of staff education and training.
  • Need for improved health literacy of community service organisations and clients.
  • Smoking is an addiction and it is hard to quit.
  • Some community service organisations have a ‘smoking culture’.
  • It is difficult to access health care professionals and nicotine replacement therapy.
  • High cost of nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Ongoing trust between staff and people who use services.
  • Quick and easy access to free, combination nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Incentivising quit programs.
  • Quit smoking support workers.
  • Peer-to-peer learning.
  • Providing education about smoking and quit smoking resource.

These themes were also reflected in the findings of the project’s literature review, survey results, extensive consultations via interviews and focus groups. It is clear from the many conversations we had that the potential future roles of community service organisations will focus on long-term culture change to normalise smoke-free lives. Specifically, multi-faceted support programs for clients that include education about smoking cessation, increasing health literacy, improving access to health care workers and nicotine replacement therapy, and increasing the number of smoking cessation support workers.

Building on the foundational work during this first phase of the project, TasCOSS will work with community service organisations in a second phase: a project plan for TasCOSS supporting smoke-free community services is in development to support embedding smoking cessation into the everyday practice of community service organisations.