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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
Objective: Pharmacists are a professional group, whose role in fighting the smoking habit is not fully appreciated.
Methods: Taking this fact into consideration and having in mind that the medicines of the first group which facilitate giving up smoking are over the counter, it has been decided that a program would be prepared.
Results: It was to be implemented during pilot educational courses for pharmacists employed in pharmacies. The program covered the scope of nicotine replacement therapy. The prepared program consisted of two parts: first one concerning general information on the harmfulness of tobacco smoking (epidemiology of tobacco smoking, chemistry of the tobacco smoke, biomarkers for exposure to tobacco smoke, interactions of the ingredients of tobacco smoke with medicines, and tobacco-related diseases). The second part covered a discussion of preparations available on the Polish market, applied in the nicotine replacement therapy: chewing gum, plasters, inhalators, and sublingual tablets with particular consideration of information on advantages and disadvantages of respective preparations, and limitations in their application in special populations. Using the prepared program, the educational courses for pharmacists were conducted in three big cities: Poznan, Warsaw and Lodz. In general, over 500 pharmacists took part in the courses. The lectures were given by doctors, toxicologists and pharmacists having many-year experiences in researches on tobacco and treatment of tobacco-related diseases. The prepared program was well-received by the participants, which confirms the necessity to conduct permanent training sessions for this group of employees of the health care system.