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Almost half of smokers looking to quit want to use pharmacy services, study finds

pharmacy smoking cessation services

By Isabel Shaw

10 Mar 2021

Nearly half of all smokers wanting to kick their smoking habit want to use pharmacy smoking cessation services to do so, according to a study.

Research carried out by pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson between August and September last year found that 55% of respondents wanted to give up smoking and 43% were looking to pharmacy smoking cessation services for support.

The consumer analysis, which included surveys of adults both in the UK and in other European countries, also found that smoking cessation has increased since the outbreak of the pandemic, with 28% of UK smokers citing Covid-19 as their main reason for quitting.

The research authors suggested that Covid-19 may also have reduced the number of social smokers, as restrictions on movement and mixing limited the opportunity to smoke in a social context.

Dr. Mark Watt MD, medical affairs senior director at J&J 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.’

Smoking cessation during Covid

This comes after another survey – carried out on behalf of charity Action on Smoking Health (ASH) – found in July last year that one million people had given up smoking since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK.

The Government had advised smokers to quit following evidence published by WHO , which suggested smokers who have Covid-19 are at a higher risk than non-smokers of severe illness and death.

NHS data published last year also revealed the number of stop-smoking products dispensed in England had dropped for the tenth consecutive year, with prescriptions falling by 72% over the last decade.

To hear how pharmacists have set up a successful smoking cessation service in their pharmacy, please visit our clinical ambassador’s section.

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