Background. As one of the most accessible health care professionals, pharmacists are in an ideal position to provide tobacco-cessation and prevention services. Although there is growing interest in expanding the pharmacist's role in tobacco treatment, few published studies have assessed the efficacy or effectiveness of tobacco-cessation services delivered by pharmacists in the United States. Objective. To summarize and critique studies that examined pharmacist-delivered tobacco-cessation services. Methods. Articles written in English that appeared in peer-reviewed journals were identified from a systematic review of literature published from 1980-2006. Publications were selected for review if the interventions were delivered by pharmacists, if the intervention included United States Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs (if drug therapy was used), and if smoking-cessation rates could be calculated. Results. Fifteen studies met inclusion criteria. Fourteen of the studies targeted smoking, and one targeted spit (chewing) tobacco. Five studies were controlled, and 10 were uncontrolled. One of the controlled studies (chewing tobacco) and eight of the uncontrolled studies were conducted in the United States. Findings of the uncontrolled U.S. studies suggest that pharmacists can deliver smoking-cessation services. Three of the controlled studies found statistically significant differences between the pharmacist-based intervention and the control group, and the trend in the other two studies was toward the effectiveness of the pharmacist-delivered intervention. Only six of the 15 studies reviewed used biochemical measures to verify self-reported cessation. Conclusion. The uncontrolled and controlled studies reviewed demonstrate that pharmacists can deliver tobacco-cessation interventions, and the evidence strongly suggests that they are effective in helping smokers to quit. Future studies conducted in the United States that are well controlled and include biochemical verification of smoking status are needed to provide definitive confirmation that pharmacist-delivered interventions are effective for smoking cessation. With the availability and expanded training of pharmacists, this is an opportune time for testing and disseminating evidence-based research evaluating the effectiveness of pharmacist-delivered tobacco-cessation services.
- Cessation interventions
- Pharmacist's role