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FIP publishes guide to help pharmacists establish tobacco-free communities

In time for the quit smoking New Year resolutions that are anticipated at the end of this month, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has outlined the wide variety of different ways in which pharmacists can reduce the use of tobacco through a new publication. The briefing document,“Establishing tobacco-free communities: A practical guide for pharmacists”, gives a number of examples from around the world, showcasing pharmacists’ value in performing health promotion, triage and referral as well as other interventions.

Moreover, the document contains tools that pharmacists can use to assess a person’s nicotine dependence and readiness to stop smoking, motivational interviewing models, quit plans and follow-up activities to avoid relapse.

“It is clear that pharmacist-led interventions can be pharmacological, including optimising treatment outcomes, or non-pharmacological. Importantly, pharmacists are supporters and facilitators of the entire smoking cessation process; this is of huge value in providing much needed continuous support to people who have decided to be healthier,” said Mrudula Naidu, immediate past chair of the Young Pharmacists Group, a network within FIP that was a key contributor to the document.

This briefing document, released today, aims to make visible the contributions of pharmacists and provide a platform for future initiatives that national pharmacy associations may run to support pharmacists and the creation of well-designed interventions in pharmacies. It can also serve as inspiration for individuals, the authors say.

“With this document, we aim to further encourage pharmacists and their professional associations to invigorate open discussions on the value of tobacco cessation with their patients, communities, teams and collaborators. New Year is a particularly opportune time,” Ms Naidu said.