Effectiveness of pharmacist counseling combined with nicotine replacement therapy: a pragmatic randomized trial with 6,987 smokers

Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Feb;22(2):167-80. doi: 10.1007/s10552-010-9672-9. Epub 2010 Dec 12.


Pharmacists may be effective health care practitioners to deliver smoking cessation interventions. This paper examines the short-term outcomes of smokers randomized to one of two models of a pharmacist-led smoking cessation intervention.

Methods: An open-label pragmatic randomized trial compared two models of a pharmacist-led behavioral intervention [Group A (3-sessions) vs. Group B (1-session)] in conjunction with 5 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Ninety-eight pharmacies in Ontario, Canada delivered the intervention. Baseline demographic and smoking behavior data were recorded, as were intervention characteristics. Self-reported, 7-day point prevalence quit rates were obtained 5-week postintervention start date.

Results: 6,987 individuals participated; 51.4% (n = 3588) randomized to Group A; 48.6% (n = 3399) to Group B. Approximately, 50% of Group A participants completed all three sessions. Quit rates were significantly higher among Group A, 3-session completers (27.7%; n = 478) compared to Group B participants (18.0%; n = 604). Multivariable results suggest that even when controlling for possible confounders and clustering across pharmacies, Group A participants who completed all three sessions were more likely to quit compared to Group B [OR = 1.72 (95% CI: 1.53, 1.94)].

Conclusions: Cessation outcomes are higher among participants completing three intervention sessions compared to one session; however, many do not return for follow-up sessions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Directive Counseling*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use*
  • Pharmacists*
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Nicotine