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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Are Indian Pharmacists Aware of Their Role in Tobacco Cessation Counseling??- a Case Study

Ashok R. Patel, M, Pharm, Pharmaceutical, Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology, c/o Prof. P.R Vavia, Pharmaceutical Department, M.U.I.C.T,, N.P.Marg, Matunga, Mumbai-400019, Mumbai, India

Objective: Pharmacist is a vital link in the health care services. The perceived accessibility and art of counseling, backed by technical knowledge and a high social status of pharmacists makes them particularly attractive to play a crucial role in tobacco cessation counseling. Despite growing interest in this subject, there are few documented analyses of the role of pharmacists in low-income countries like India. The present study was conducted to judge whether Indian pharmacists were adequate enough to take up this new role of tobacco cessation counselors.

Methods: A Questionnaire (survey form) was prepared for field study and formal personal interviews were carried out with selected pharmacists drawn across a metropolis city.

Results: From the field survey it was observed that up to 34% of pharmacists were totally ignorant about their duties towards the welfare of general public, about 77% of them had never attended any awareness program, only 30%of them knew about the negative effects of tobacco and merely 8% were aware of the cessation strategies. Based on these findings, it is proposed that 1] An extensive awareness program needs to be launched for generating awareness among the pharmacist community about their role in tobacco cessation counseling. 2] A training program should also be conducted in order to train resourceful pharmacist and motivate them to be a part of tobacco control program. Thus, it can be claimed that Indian pharmacists represent a currently under-utilized opportunity for preventive & control activities, and they could be motivated to be a major help in building a tobacco free nation.