Cigarette smoking is one of the preventable causes of ill health in Qatar. Qatar community pharmacists are in an ideal position to play an important role in smoking cessation. This role necessitates adequate smoking cessation knowledge and education. The study objectives were to assess Qatar community pharmacists' smoking cessation knowledge and to gauge their perceptions of which aspects of smoking-related education would be most interesting.

A pretested survey was used to solicit community pharmacists' anonymous responses. The survey was designed after reviewing relevant smoking cessation literature. A phone call was made to all community pharmacists in Qatar to request their participation. Interested pharmacists were sent the survey link by email or by fax. Data was descriptively analyzed using the Statistical Package of Social Sciences software version 18.

Over 20 weeks, we collected 112 surveys (35% response rate). Smoking cessation knowledge was evaluated using 8 true or false questions. Thirty seven percent of respondents scored less than 60% and 13% scored more than 80%. The mean score was 61% with a standard deviation of 17%. Eighty-nine percent of respondents indicated that they have not received before any smoking cessation education. Nevertheless, at least 70% indicated that they were interested in receiving additional smoking cessation education. Respondents were mostly interested in receiving education on motivating smokers to quit and on counseling on behavioral techniques (89% and 86% respectively). Sixty nine percent indicated a preference for mailings of printed materials as method of information delivery.

Despite their low smoking cessation knowledge, Qatar community pharmacists are interested in receiving additional smoking cessation education. A smoking cessation education program should be offered to these pharmacists to give them the knowledge they need to be competent smoking cessation counselors.


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