Pharmacies play crucial role in helping smokers quit

Smokers are more likely to seek help from tobacco quitline services when pharmacies run active smoking cessation campaigns, new research shows.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, looked at the long-term impact of pharmacy intervention in referring patients who wanted to quit smoking.

The randomized trial was conducted across 64 community pharmacies in Connecticut and Washington. It found higher numbers of people who called the smoking quitline reported being referred by their local pharmacy after staff were given on-site smoking cessation training.

“The percentage of quitline callers who reported having heard about the quitline from a pharmacy increased significantly, from 2.2% during the baseline monitoring period to 3.8% during the 12-month intervention,”
the study said.

The authors concluded that cessation interventions were feasible in community pharmacies and led to meaningful increases in the number of all patients who called the quitline.

“Involvement of community pharmacy personnel in tobacco cessation presents a significant opportunity to promote quitline services by connecting patients with an effective publicly available resource,”
the report said.

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