31 May - World No Tobacco Day
Today marks the annual World Health Organization World No Tobacco Day, a day to promote global solidarity in the fight against tobacco use. As announced by the WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), this year's theme is "Tobacco Health Warnings", which emphasizes the importance of placing visual warnings on tobacco products.
The TFI has said that the warnings, which are often extremely graphic, "have been shown to be particularly effective at making people aware of the health risks of tobacco use and convincing them to quit. More and more countries are fighting back against the epidemic of tobacco by requiring that packages of tobacco show the dangers of the product's use, as called for in guidelines to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control."
For more information on the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative and to download World No Tobacco Day materials please click here.
Through and in addition to its Gobal Network of Pharmacists Against Tobacco, FIP continues to support and encourage the work of its Member Organisations in promoting the role of the pharmacist in preventing and stopping tobacco use (download the FIP Statement of Policy on on the Role of the Pharmacist in Promoting a Future Free of Tobacco).
FIP Members around the world continue to make great strides in influencing national policy regarding public tobacco use and in actively involving pharmacists in decisions that effect the health of communities, such as:
Turkish Pharmacists' Association's advocacy of a smoking ban in pharmacies;
Slovenia Chamber of Pharmacies' organisation of Continuing Education for pharmacists in counseling patients on the avoidance and cessation of tobacco use;
Association of Danish Pharmacies:
--Information Campaigns Which Target Selected Groups
This spring the pharmacies had campaigns focusing on smoking cessation and patients with cardiovascular diseases. This autum a campaign will focuse on passive smoking.
--A Brief Consultation to Help Smokers Quit Smoking
Every second pharmacy today provides smoking-cessation activities in groups or to individuals. A new service is a brief consultation to motivate and inform smokers who aren't quite ready to quit the habit. Trained personnel at the pharmacy who can advise the customer about the advantages of quitting
conduct the consultation.
--Online Smoking Cessation Programme
We are working on development of an online smoking cessation programme.
--Agreement with Municipalities on Smoking Cessation for the Citizens
52 out of 90 municipalities have entered into agreements with the local pharmacies that the pharmacy offers smoking cessation to the citizens. The municipality pays the pharmacy per class or per individual course.
- National Pharmacy Association (UK):
Pharmacy Stop Smoking schemes have been shown to be successful with 20% of smokers quitting at four weeks with pharmacy support.
The NPA published a toolkit to enable pharmacies and PCTs to implement a community pharmacy stop smoking scheme in mid 2007 and this is supported by promotional materials which the NPA produces as part of the Ask Your Pharmacist campaign. The NPA has also produced other promotional materials for pharmacy based stop smoking services.
As a result of the ban, a number of PCTs, who hadn't commissioned stop smoking services from community pharmacy in the past, have now commissioned pharmacy stop smoking services. These services include one to one brief intervention sessions and the supply of NRT and possibly buproprion or varenicline.
It is the hope and intention with these and similar worldwide initiatives tobacco and its associated health risks will drastically decrease in the years to come.
For more information and resources please see below:
- 2007 joint FIP/School of Pharmacy report: "Curbing the Tobacco Pandemic: The Global Role for Pharmacy"
- Banning tobacco sales in pharmacy, in accordance with the FIP Statement of Policy