To assess the tobacco treatment practices of Montana pharmacists, evaluate pharmacist interest in addressing tobacco use, and identify perceived barriers to delivery of tobacco cessation services.
Descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study.
Montana in February 2007.
192 pharmacists attending an annual continuing professional education program.
Attendees at 11 meeting sites throughout the state completed the survey.
Main outcome measures
Pharmacists' use of the U.S. Clinical Practice Guideline 5 A's (ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange) in regard to tobacco cessation services.
Of program attendees, 76% (192 of 253) completed the 35-item survey. More than one-half (58%) of respondents were men, and 90% were white. Respondents were licensed for a median of 22.5 years and dispensed a median of 1,000 prescriptions per week. The percent of pharmacists who treated one or more patients using the 5 A's in the preceding 30 days were as follows: asked about tobacco use, 39%; advised to quit smoking, 54%; assessed for readiness to quit smoking, 36%; assisted with quitting (i.e., cessation counseling), 46%; assisted with advice to use nonprescription cessation medication, 62%; assisted with advice to use prescription cessation medication, 54%; arranged for a follow-up appointment for additional counseling, 6%; and referred to a tobacco quit line, 23%. Most respondents (58%) reported that providing cessation services within routine practice was moderately or highly feasible. The most frequently cited barriers to providing cessation services included lack of time (52%), reimbursement (26%), and training (19%)
Few Montana pharmacists are routinely asking patients about tobacco use in a typical month. However, the majority of pharmacists reported that it would be feasible to provide more tobacco cessation activities within routine pharmacy practice. Addressing barriers related to workload, reimbursement, and training would likely increase the number of pharmacists who provide tobacco cessation services.