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UCSF-Safeway pharmacy alliance aims to help customers quit smoking
Date:2/12/2013

f pharmacies, Singer said. Safeway sees this important new service as complementary to the ever-evolving range of patient-centered care offerings that Safeway pharmacies provide.

Cigarette smoking is the primary known cause of preventable death in the United States, resulting in an estimated 443,000 premature deaths and $193 billion in health-care costs and lost productivity each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those who stop smoking, however, significantly reduce their risk of tobacco-related disease.

The CDC estimates that 19.3 percent of U.S. adults smoked in 2010; of those, 78 percent smoked daily and nearly 69 percent wanted to quit. While more than half reported having tried to quit recently, less than a third had used scientifically proven approaches and only 6 percent were successful for six months or more.

The U.S. Public Health Service guidelines cite the most effective approaches for smoking cessation as behavioral counseling and medications, used either alone or, preferably, in combination.

The program developed for Safeway uses a streamlined version of Rx for Change, a tobacco-cessation training program that UCSF pharmacy faculty created to train health care providers nationwide. This project fundamentally redesigns how pharmacists work with patients, from simply offering smoking-cessation medications behind a counter to active clinical involvement.

The program uses an "Ask, Advise, Refer" model, in which pharmacists ask patients whether they smoke as one of the standard health screening questions when filling prescriptions. Smokers are then advised to quit, offered information on medication options available and referred to the California Smokers' Helpline, a free telephone counseling system at UC San Diego (1-800-NO-BUTTS).

"We know there are several medications that have significant interactions with tobacco smoke, so this is a question every pharmacist sho
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Contact: Kristen Bole
kristen.bole@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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