An evaluation of smoking cessation-related activities by pharmacists

Dennis M Williams, Judy Freeman Newsom, Tina Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To (1) describe the types of smoking cessation intervention activities performed by community pharmacists and (2) assess the perceived barriers to this type of intervention. 

DESIGN: Confidential mail questionnaire. 

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 541 community pharmacists in North Carolina and 946 community pharmacists in Texas. 

RESULTS: North Carolina and Texas differ with respect to the sale of cigarettes at the practice site, with North Carolina pharmacies being more likely to sell tobacco products. Overall, 555 (92.5%) respondents reported that they do not routinely ask new patients if they smoke or use tobacco products. Pharmacists described themselves as knowledgeable about smoking cessation therapies, and 42% of respondents had attended an educational program on smoking cessation. A total of 230 (39.5%) reported consistently counseling individual patients about smoking cessation treatment strategies on at least a weekly basis. Exploratory factor analysis identified four dimensions of barriers that inhibit pharmacists from engaging in smoking cessation-related activities: (1) pharmacist interpersonal characteristics, (2) practice site considerations, (3) patient characteristics, and (4) financial concerns. 

CONCLUSION: Pharmacists have an opportunity to identify health risks and counsel patients about disease-preventing lifestyle changes. These findings suggest that although pharmacists believe they are qualified to perform smoking cessation interventions, they do not routinely identify smokers and they perceive several barriers to participating in such activities. Pharmacists should investigate increased involvement in smoking cessation activities for the benefit of their patients and for the potential professional and economic rewards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-370
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Pharmaceutical Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes

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