Tobacco cessation counseling: pharmacists' opinions and practices

Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Apr;61(1):152-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2005.03.009.


Objective: As a key interface between patients and the health-care community, pharmacists are uniquely positioned to promote tobacco cessation. The objectives of this study were to: (a) characterize pharmacists' past training and current activities in provision of tobacco interventions, attitudes toward assisting patients with quitting, and interest in receiving specialized training for tobacco cessation counseling; and (b) identify predictors of pharmacists' counseling for tobacco cessation.

Methods: A 10-page survey was mailed to all licensed pharmacists in four California counties.

Results: Returned surveys (n = 1,168; 54.2% response) indicated that fewer than 8% of pharmacists have received formal training for tobacco cessation counseling, and current levels of counseling are low. Key predictors of cessation counseling include practice setting, pharmacists' race/ethnicity, perceived pros of counseling, and self-efficacy for counseling. Of 715 pharmacists who have direct patient contact, 93% indicated that receiving specialized tobacco cessation counseling training would increase their counseling quality, and 70% indicated that it would increase the number of patients counselled. Eighty-eight percent reported interest in receiving specialized training to obtain these skills.

Conclusion: Although few pharmacists have received formal training in tobacco cessation and counseling activities currently are low, there is substantial professional interest in further developing this role.

Practice implications: Provision of comprehensive training that focuses on promoting self-efficacy for counseling likely will increase pharmacists' tobacco cessation counseling activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California
  • Counseling*
  • Education, Pharmacy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Management / methods*
  • Pharmacists*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Use Cessation*