Pharmacists: Help Your Patients Quit Smoking
You can play a key role in fighting tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. You see many of your patients regularly. They come to you with questions about their medicines and their overall health. Many of your patients may be tobacco users who want to quit.
The Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign can be a conversation starter. The campaign offers resources for you as well as your patients. With CDC’s support, you can help more patients live smokefree lives.
The following resources, including FAQs and free training, can help you learn more:
- Free continuing education training for up to 4.5 CPEs, entitled “Smoking Cessation for Pregnancy and Beyond: A Virtual Clinic”External
- FAQs for Health Care Providers
- FAQs about how quitlines work and their effectiveness
- Medscape Video, Conducting a Brief 2A Tobacco InterventionExternal featuring Tim McAfee, MD, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. This video shares the steps that you can take to conduct brief interventions with your patients.
To help you in this important work, you can:
Print “Reasons to Quit Smoking” Cdc-pdf[PDF – 1M]and give it to your smoking patients.
- Download “Talk With Your Pharmacist” posters (in English or Spanish) to inspire your patients to quit . Hang them near your pharmacy counters, where patients will see them every day.
- Download videos, print ads, radio ads, and other Tips campaign materials from the Tips Download CenterExternal for use in your store. All of these resources are free.
- Order free notepads (with the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline number and CDC logo) to use in your pharmacy (enter “notepad” in search bar on publication catalog web page).
- Suggest that your patients visit the How to Quit Smoking page on the Tips web site. Link to it from your practice’s Web site.
- Explain how patients’ health conditions can be linked to smoking. Use the Tips campaign participants as examples.
- Let your patients know that they can get free quit help by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers).
CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) has been partnering with STRAND (formerly Creative Pharmacist) since 2015 to promote smoking cessation in independent pharmacies across the country. STRAND supports and empowers independent pharmacists to work with patients to improve their overall health.
In 2016, STRAND partnered with OSH and West Virginia’s Department of Tobacco Control to launch a smoking cessation pilot program in five rural counties with high cigarette smoking prevalence. Fifty adult cigarette smokers enrolled in the program. According to STRAND, within ten weeks of launching the program, 40 percent of the enrolled patients had quit smoking, and one-third remained quit at 24 weeks. The program was expanded, with an additional eight rural pharmacies enrolling 110 patients, 30 of whom had quit cigarette smoking at 12 weeks.
Additionally, in 2016, Creative Pharmacist TV (an Apple TV app created by STRAND) placed ten Tips From Former Smokers® campaign television ads in 65 independent pharmacies. To date, these ads have played over 2 million times in the stores where a pharmacist is accessible for cessation support.
This partnership has helped provide local pharmacists with tools and resources to help their clients quit cigarette smoking.