Australian community pharmacist experiences with smoking cessation and opinions of health warnings on individual cigarette sticks

Drovandi, Aaron, Teague, Peta-Ann, Glass, Beverley, and Malau-Aduli, Bunmi (2019) Australian community pharmacist experiences with smoking cessation and opinions of health warnings on individual cigarette sticks. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 27 (2). pp. 121-130.

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Objectives: We aimed to identify the experiences of Australian community pharmacists with smokers and their associated perceptions of effective health warnings on individual cigarette sticks.

Methods: A mixed‐methods online survey was distributed to Australian pharmacists through pharmacy‐specific social media pages, and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, followed by semi‐structured face‐to‐face interviews with pharmacists in Townsville, Australia, who were purposively sampled. The interviews continued until data saturation was achieved. Participants described their experiences with smokers, perceptions and effectiveness ratings of current cigarette packaging warnings, and 12 text warnings (divided into four themes) on individual cigarette sticks, and their general opinions on effective anti‐tobacco health warnings.

Key findings: Seventy pharmacists participated in the survey and 17 pharmacists in the interviews. Both groups of pharmacists cited smoking‐related personal or close‐contact illness, pressure by family members or physicians and the financial costs of smoking as being the main drivers for quit attempts. Most interviewed pharmacists interact with smokers several times per week. Cigarette stick warnings describing mortality consequences (especially the ‘minutes of life lost’ warning) and the financial consequences of tobacco use were rated as significantly more effective than current packaging warnings (odds ratio [OR] = 2.23; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12–4.12, P = 0.02, and 1.97; 95%CI: 1.01–3.84, P = 0.04, respectively).

Conclusions: Pharmacists have considerable experience assisting smokers with quitting and based on these experiences believe that novel and tangible health warnings on cigarette sticks may be an effective future measure to combat tobacco use. Further research on the opinions of a more diverse range of health professionals and the general community will generate more robust findings regarding this method of intervention.

Item ID: 54664
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2042-7174
Keywords: tobacco control; public health; health behaviour
Copyright Information: © 2018 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Additional Information:

This article is freely available via the publisher's website.

Funders: Australian Government Research Training Scholarship, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2018 01:14
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 100%
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