New research commissioned by J&J finds interest in quitting has increased during the pandemic…

 

Community pharmacists’ role has more than doubled smoking cessation success rate during the Covid-19 pandemic, when compared with either no support or lower intensity support, a latest study has revealed.

More than half (55 per cent) of smokers say they want to be both tobacco and nicotine free and four in ten (43 per cent) are looking to pharmacists to provide the advice they need on smoking cessation, according to a new research commissioned by pharma giant Johnson & Johnson.

Consumer interest in smoking cessation is also on the rise – with 28 per cent of UK smokers citing Covid-19 as the main reason for quitting.

Over eight out of ten pharmacists who participated in the J&J survey have stated that they are interested in the management and treatment of smokers looking to quit.

The consumer interest in smoking cessation is on the rise, with 28 per cent of UK smokers citing Covid-19 as the main reason for quitting, the study pointed out.

Dr Mark Watt MD, medical affairs senior director, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health EMEA said: “We know that community pharmacy-delivered behavioural intervention and support, together with pharmacotherapeutic advice, is invaluable for smokers wishing to quit. With more and more smokers trying to quit, pharmacists have a vital role to play”.

Pharmacists surveyed by J&J show that they see a clear role for themselves as a partner to smokers, specifically:

  • discussing the benefits of quitting smoking
  • recommending behavioural intervention in response to key life events such as pregnancy or illness, and calendar events such as a New Year Resolution to give up smoking or no smoking days
  • explaining and discussing smoking cessation medications such as NRT

Top tips for pharmacists to support smokers wishing to quit include:

  • assess the patient’s overall lung health (carbon monoxide testing and COPD check)
  • provide lifestyle advice including withdrawal symptom management
  • identify best treatment for individual patient
  • provide patient with access to smoking cessation services including helplines

Meanwhile, pharmacists most commonly recommend either one or two concurrent Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) with an average of 88 per cent recommending at least one format of NRT, while 97 per cent believe smokers are more likely to quit for good by using a combination of two or more NRT products.

Around 94 per cent of pharmacists say they are most likely to recommend patches and a third (34 per cent) say they are most likely to recommend gum (34 per cent).

However, study shows that patients are more likely to quit for good by using two NRT products in combination, compared to using just one NRT product alone.

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