Tobacco use and cessation counseling among pharmacy students
Charles W. Warren, Dhirendra N. Sinha, Juliette Lee, Veronica Lea, Nathan R. Jones
Background: In 2003, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) adopted a policy stating pharmacists have an important role to play in tobacco control. In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS) to collect information on student tobacco use and training received on patient cessation counseling while in school. This study includes data from GHPSS conducted among 3rd year pharmacy students in 44 countries and the Gaza Strip/West Bank. Methods: A two-stage sample design was used to select schools and students for participation in the GHPSS. Self-administered data collection followed for 3rd year students in selected schools and classes. Results: Twenty-eight of the 40 sites with data for males reported rates greater than 20%; with only 4 sites reporting rates less than 5%. Thirteen of the 44 sites with data for females reported rates greater than 20%; with 21 sites reporting rates less than 5%. The majority of students recognized that they are role models in society, believed they should receive training on counseling patients to quit using tobacco, but few reported receiving formal training. Conclusions: Following FIP recommendations, pharmaceutical organizations must discourage tobacco use among pharmacists and universities teaching pharmacy must implement programs that train pharmacists in effective patient tobacco cessation-counseling techniques.