New Report Emphasizes Pharmacist's Role in Smoking Cessation

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Published Online: Tuesday, February 4th, 2020
A new Surgeon General report emphasizes that smoking cessation is critical to improve health outcomes, and health care professionals can play an important role.  

Approximately 34 million Americans currently smoke cigarettes, and most adults have been smokers since adolescence. Over $170 billion in health care spending is attributed to smoking. 

Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General is the 34th tobacco-related Surgeon General’s report published since 1964. Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, the Surgeon General, discussed in the report that cigarette smoking in the United States has significantly decreased to an all-time low of 14%. However, more work can be done, especially since 16 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease.

Other health care professionals can make a positive impact by encouraging smoking cessation.

Report Key Findings
The Surgeon General report offered important evidence-based information regarding smoking cessation. Smoking cessation reduces the risk of premature death, and can add approximately 10 years to life expectancy. Additionally, smoking cessation reduces the risk of adverse health complications including reproductive health issues, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.

More than 3 of 5 US adults that have ever smoked cigarettes have quit. However, each year, less than 1/3 of smokers that have made an attempt to quit use FDA approved smoking cessation medications or behavioral counseling for support. Healthcare professionals can play an important role in counseling patients on safe and effective smoking cessation pharmacologic treatment options. 

Read the full article on Pharmacy Times

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