Roles of community pharmacists in providing smoking cessation services: a national survey in Thailand
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Chiang Mai University, Department of Pharmaceutical Care, Faculty of Pharmacy, Thailand
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A517
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Thai community pharmacists play a vital role in helping smokers to quit smoking. This study aimed to examine the roles of community pharmacists across Thailand regarding smoking cessation services according to the 5 A's approach: ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange.

This is a cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire via post, to collect information from the participants across Thailand. The participants were community pharmacists who provided smoking cessation services in their community pharmacies. Main outcomes were 5 A's activities provided by the community pharmacists. The participants were asked about their performing 5 A's in smoking cessation services in which they were asked to rate their frequency of 5 A's practices in one of 4 categories: all the time, often, rarely, and never. Descriptive statistics were carried out for data analysis using STATA software.

Of 152 respondents who completed and returned the questionnaire, 61% were women, 76% had an assistant pharmacist; 49% had been working as pharmacists of less than 10 years; 61% were members of the Thai Pharmacy Network for Tobacco Control. Ninety-five percent claimed that they asked their patients/customers about tobacco use status however only 38% asked all the time. About 97% advised to quit smoking but 30% advising all the time. About 93% assessed willingness to quit with 28% assessing all the time. Unfortunately, only 39% and 9% assisted smokers to quit and arranged for follow-up after providing the services all the time, respectively.

The study showed that more than 90% of community pharmacists did follow 5 A's for their practices in smoking cessation; however, they did not practice 5 A's all the time. Roles of community pharmacists in smoking cessation should be promoted and supported to encourage them to fully service all the time to help smokers to quit.