UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - UKNSCC
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Poster presentation
The cannabis conundrum: smoking cessation work with cannabis users
Alan Matthews

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Britain, with over half of 16 to 29 year-olds having admitted trying it at some time. In the face of high levels of use and reclassification under the law, smoking cessation workers are increasingly coming across cannabis users who either want to stop smoking altogether or want to stop using tobacco but continue to smoke cannabis. This will describe the development and delivery of a one-day training course and supporting materials designed to help raise awareness of cannabis-related issues and instill confidence to enable smoking cessation workers to engage successfully with this client group.

HIT designed a one-day training course to provide smoking cessation workers with comprehensive information about cannabis, its history, effects, risks and harms, as well as its cultural significance in today's society. The course addresses important questions, such as: What problems do cannabis users face? How can we educate young people about smoking cessation techniques, when the substance itself is illegal? What interventions are likely to be effective with cannabis smokers?

To date, nearly 200 smoking cessation workers have attended the course, in both the north west and north east of England. Evaluations of each course has shown this to be an effective way of providing information on a little known topic to smoking cessation workers and raise their confidence in the skills they currently possess.

Alan Matthews
HIT, Hanover House, Hanover Street, Liverpool L1 3DZ
Tel: 0870 990 9704