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Smoking ABC

  • Ask
  • Brief Advice
  • Cessation Support


All the data for the smoking indicators is sourced from your PMS. The data is obtained from the READ codes in classifications or patient history, or by way of mapping at the time the data is exported to Karo.

Smoking Status Ever Recorded

There is no payment for the Smoking Status Ever Recorded indicator but you have to have smoking status recorded for at least 70% of patients (aged 15 - 74) before you are eligible to get payment for the Brief Advice indicator.

Click here for a complete list of the smoking READ codes.

Generally, though, the three common codes are:

  • 1371 - Never Smoked
  • 137R - Current Smoker
  • 137S - Ex-smoker

If you record this information in a screening template, advanced form or web form, it is important to make sure it is mapping back to a valid READ code either directly from the template or form or at the time the data is exported to Karo.

Brief Advice

This is one of the MoH's Health Targets. The target is for 90 percent of your smoker population to have been given Brief Advice in the last 15 months.

This means that to ensure work done is being counted, it is really important to check that:

  • clinicians know the easiest way to enter this
  • all screening templates and Advanced Forms map back properly
  • all third party tools are mapping back properly


There are two specific Brief Advice READ codes:

  • 6791.00 - Health ed. - smoking
  • ZPSB10 - Brief smoking cessation advice was given

In addition, all codes for cessation support also count as brief advice.


Recording tip

One way to improve your numbers is to make it as easy as possible for clinicians to record Brief Advice.  A quick and easy way to get Brief Advice into Medtech is as follows:

  • Type 'Smoking' into the clinical notes
  • Select 'Smoking' and right-click
  • Choose 'Add New Classification'
  • A shortlist of READ codes will come up – choose 'Brief Advice'

 Three clicks and you're done!

Cessation Support

As noted above all the cessation support codes also count as Brief Advice. The codes are:

  • ZPSC10 - Referral to smoking cessation support
  • ZPSC20 - Prescribed smoking cessation medication
  • ZPSC30 - Provided smoking cessation behavioural support
  • ZPSC90 - Refused smoking cessation support

The last code is not counted as cessation support given.


Brief Advice is currently the only funded smoking indicator. The indicator is funded according to PHO's achievement against the Health Target rather than by meeting an individual PHO target.

The population of smokers is anyone who has had a status of Current Smoker in the PHO data in the last 15 months.  The reason for this category is that if we don't count recent ex-smokers in the population, all your successful brief advice and/or cessation support won't be counted.

If you give Brief Advice to the same person multiple times during the year, it only counts once.  SLM counts the number of people who have received Brief Advice/Cessation Support, not the number of times Brief Advice/Cessation Support has been given.