BACKGROUND: As trained and accessible healthcare professionals, pharmacists are in an ideal position to provide tobacco cessation interventions. Of the 15 studies identified in the literature assessing the effectiveness of tobacco cessation interventions delivered by pharmacists, this is the first randomized controlled trial conducted in the US of a pharmacist-delivered program for smoking cessation using biochemical confirmation. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness on smoking cessation of a face-to-face group program conducted by the pharmacist team compared with a brief standard care session delivered by a pharmacist over the telephone. METHODS: An open-label, prospective, randomized, controlled trial was conducted at a Veterans Health Administration, community-based outpatient clinic in the Rocky Mountain region. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a 3-session face-to-face group program conducted by the pharmacist team or one 5- to 10-minute standard care session delivered by the pharmacist team over the telephone. Participants in both groups were offered either immediate-release bupropion or nicotine patch at no cost. The primary outcome of self-reported abstinence was biochemically confirmed by urinary cotinine at 6 months after the quit date. RESULTS: One hundred one smokers were randomized from October 3, 2005, to March 30, 2007, with the last 6-month follow-up survey completed on November 6, 2007. Analysts of data was completed in December 2007. Using intent-to-treat procedures, confirmed abstinence rates at the end of 6 months were 28% in the pharmacist-delivered face-to-face treatment group and 11.8% in the standard care telephone session control group (p < 0.041). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that pharmacists are effective providers of tobacco cessation interventions. Greater utilization of pharmacists in tcbacco cessation efforts could have a significant impact on smoking rates, prevention of tobacco-related diseases, and overall improvement in public health across the US.
- Nicotine addiction
- Pharmacist's role
- Smoking cessation intervention
- Tobacco cessation