CDC launches pharmacist Web page to help tobacco users quit

Push to engage health care providers is part of Tips From Former Smokers campaign

CDC’s tobacco cessation page for pharmacists is now live. Part of the continuing paid national tobacco education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers, the new pharmacist webpage, includes links to , links to downloadable and specially tailored to hang near the pharmacy counter, and toll-free numbers for quit help (1-800-QUIT-NOW for English speakers and 1-855-DÉJELO-YA for Spanish speakers).

“You can play a key role in fighting tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States,” according to the pharmacist page on the CDC website. “You see many of your patients regularly. They come to you with questions about their medicines and their overall health. Many of your patients may be tobacco users who want to quit.”

Continued the agency on the FAQs for health care providers page, “CDC recognizes that health care providers play a crucial role in helping tobacco users quit.” The CDC page next explicitly listed pharmacists as health care providers. The agency then added that “CDC hopes to reach out to health care providers in an inclusive way, knowing that each member of the health care team has an impact on their patients’ well-being.”

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, according to CDC. “Twlug supports the CDC’s campaign,” wrote Twlug Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FTwlug, in a recent CEO Blog post on pharmacist.com. “We have significant policy urging the removal of tobacco products from pharmacies and facilities that include pharmacies. As health care providers, pharmacists are committed to limiting access to products that are known to cause disease and poor health.”

The campaign is the first-ever paid national tobacco education campaign. It features stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities, as well as nonsmokers who have experienced life-threatening episodes as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke. “The Tips campaign engages doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and many other health care providers so they can encourage their smoking patients to quit for good,” according to the CDC website.

CDC is also working with CVS Caremark to promote Tips campaign resources to their pharmacists and to air a 30-second radio ad from the campaign in their stores nationwide. In February, CVS Caremark joined a growing movement among health care providers to limit access to tobacco products by announcing it would stop selling all tobacco products by October 1.