Pharmacists Fighting Tobacco Use? CDC Launches Website Targeted at Most Accessible Provider

Eileen Oldfield, Associate Editor
Published Online: Friday, July 25, 2014
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A new website created by the Centers for Disease Control offers resources for pharmacists to help patients quit smoking.

A new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website capitalizes on the pharmacist’s position as the most accessible health care provider to encourage patients to quit smoking.

The website, created in mid-June 2014, includes resources specifically geared toward creating a pharmacy-based tobacco intervention program. Content sources include the Office on Smoking and Health and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The resources include 2 "Frequently Asked Question" sheets, 1 covering health care providers and the second covering quitlines (evidence-based tobacco cessation interventions); printable intervention cards; a video detailing steps to conduct brief patient interventions; and a link to various stop-smoking videos and print ads.

Additional resources include posters specifically encouraging patients to speak to their pharmacist, videos, print ads, and other campaign materials related to the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers Campaign.

In 2013, Safeway pharmacists, in conjunction with the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy, implemented a smoking cessation program built on pharmacist interaction and intervention. The program, called Rx for Change, focused specifically on smoking cessation techniques and approaches. In addition to routinely asking patients whether they smoked, pharmacists would advise them to quit and offer them information on medications and other patient resources.

The program launched in 20 pharmacies in Northern and Southern California and was later expanded to Safeway pharmacies throughout the country.

Earlier this year, CVS Caremark made the widely publicized decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its 7600 locations by October 1, 2014. The second-largest pharmacy chain’s decision is in accord with position taken by major medical associations, and was hailed as a landmark step by professional organizations and by federal officials.

Looking for additional smoking cessation resources? Don’t miss Pharmacy Times’ Office of Continuing Professional Education’s continuing education activity on nicotine dependence: Smoking Cessation: Overcoming Nicotine Dependence.

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