Tobacco cessation services by community pharmacists; a potential opportunity window
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Lighthouse Global Health Initiative, Nigeria
Obafemi Awolowo University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Nigeria
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A887
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Tobacco smoking has been proven to be addictive, and smokers would require some form of assistance to quit. Most smokers in Nigeria are unaware of cessation services nor have access to them. The involvement of Community Pharmacists, who are the first point of call for most health care seekers, in tobacco cessation intervention could have a significant impact on cessation success rates, and a reduction in smoking prevalence. This study sought to answer two main questions:
1. Are tobacco smokers willing to quit smoking?
2. Would tobacco smokers consult community pharmacists for smoking cessation intervention?

The study was carried out in Ile-Ife and Ibadan both in southwestern Nigeria. Both cities have federal universities, tertiary hospitals and registered community pharmacists capable of providing quality health care. A total of 146 smokers were studied. Questionnaires were administered to cigarette smokers who gave their consent and who were visibly smoking in locations where smokers are populated, such as night clubs, hotel bars, brothels, garage parks, etc.
Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics

About 75% of respondents have had failed tobacco cessation attempts and 71% of them were not assisted in their cessation attempts. Majority (81.4%) of respondents still have intentions to quit smoking.
About 60% of those who intend to quit smoking indicated that they needed assistance. Almost half (48%) would consult a community pharmacist, 74% of whom are willing to pay for the service.

This study suggests that tobacco cessation services provided by community pharmacists has a potential for high patronage among smokers. Since community pharmacists are quite accessible to most of the population, their involvement in tobacco cessation will provide ready access to smokers across the country. We recommend a program designed to enrol and empower community pharmacists in tobacco cessation services.