We conducted a randomized, controlled study to evaluate whether pharmacists' advice on smoking cessation would result in a higher smoking cessation rate using Nicorette (nicotine gum preparation). Fourteen pharmacies in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Nagano participated. Smokers who visited pharmacies to buy Nicorette from March 1, 2002, through August 31, 2002, were recruited and randomly assigned to two groups. For the intervention group (A), pharmacists provided both regular instructions on Nicorette use and smoking cessation advice at the first sale and then gave follow-up advice just before starting a cessation and 1, 3, and 8 weeks and 3 months thereafter. For the control group (B), pharmacists provided regular instructions alone. The primary outcome measure was the self-reported smoking cessation rate and the secondary outcome measure was the relationship between the smoker's egogram and effectiveness of intervention. Twenty-eight smokers were enrolled and randomized into group A (n=11) or group B (n=17). The absolute abstinence rate in groups A and B at 3 months was 45.5% and 31.2%, respectively. The odds ratio was 1.83, which was not statistically significant. There was no difference in egogram score between absolute abstinence subjects and nonabstinence subjects in group A. The egogram scores in Adapted Child of absolute abstinence subjects in group B were significantly higher than in nonabstinence subjects. In conclusion, instructions and advice given by pharmacists may improve the smoking cessation rate in smokers receiving nicotine replacement therapy.
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