West Virginia is among the states with the highest prevalence of tobacco-related illnesses. Pharmacists play a vital in tobacco cessation. This study explored the interest to provide and the types of tobacco cessation interventions by pharmacists and student pharmacists in West Virginia.
Pharmacists (n=199) and student pharmacists (n=232) responded to our cross-sectional survey. Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine associations with pharmacists’ current practice and interest in providing tobacco cessation interventions in their pharmacies.
Most respondents practiced in a community pharmacy (73.1%) and promoted tobacco cessation (82.8% pharmacists; 56.8% student pharmacists). Student pharmacists were more interested in offering patient counseling, campaigns with displays and brochures, and group sessions on smoking cessation than pharmacists (P<0.001). Interest was high in resources and additional skills needed to provide interventions, with both groups wanting additional education on tobacco cessation counseling. Greater interest in tobacco cessation interventions was associated with: awareness of tobacco-related sales policies [less awareness of American Medical Association 2009 policy (P=0.023), more awareness of America Pharmacists Association 2010 policy (P=0.022)]; working in a pharmacy with less visibility/sales of tobacco products (P=0.001); and perceived greater loss to revenue from discontinuing tobacco sales (P=0.007).
Pharmacists and student pharmacists expressed great interest in providing tobacco cessation counseling to patients but note barriers. Capitalizing on such interest and providing additional training in counseling, to both pharmacists and student pharmacists will be beneficial.