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  • An independent review of evidence by Cochrane in 2019 found that sessions with trained pharmacy personnel more than doubled successful smoking cessation, when compared with either no support or lower intensity support1.


  • Now, new research commissioned by J&J finds consumer interest in smoking cessation has increased during the pandemic, with four in ten (43%) UK smokers looking to pharmacists to provide the advice they need on smoking cessation2.


10 March 2021 - Pharmacists who provide structured smoking cessation advice make a real difference, delivering improved outcomes for individuals quitting smoking1. Now, according to research commissioned by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health EMEA (J&J), more than half (55%)3 of smokers say they want to be both tobacco and nicotine free. J&J’s research revealed that consumer interest in smoking cessation is on the increase, with 28% of UK smokers citing COVID-19 as the main reason for quitting3. This is expected to continue following advice from the WHO that evidence suggests that smoking is associated with increased severity of disease and death in hospitalised COVID-19 patients4.


A major Cochrane review has previously shown that trained pharmacy personnel offering personal sessions with smokers using scientifically based behavioural change interventions more than doubled successful smoking cessation compared with either no support or lower intensity support1. The review showed that interventions were both effective and valued by smokers looking to quit1. And the good news, according to J&J’s own previous research, is that more than eight out of ten pharmacists are interested in the management and treatment of smokers looking to quit5.


“We know that community pharmacy-delivered behavioural intervention and support, together with pharmacotherapeutic advice, is invaluable for smokers wishing to quit. With more and more smokers trying to quit, pharmacists have a vital role to play”, said Dr. Mark Watt MD, Medical Affairs Senior Director, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health EMEA.


COVID-19 may have indirectly helped to reduce the number of social smokers, as restrictions limited the opportunity to smoke in a social context3. As the current UK lockdown begins to ease, pharmacists have an opportunity to support social smokers who may otherwise return to old habits.


Pharmacists most commonly recommend either one or two concurrent Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) with an average of 88% recommending at least one format of NRT, while 97% believe smokers are more likely to quit for good by using a combination of two or more NRT products5. 94% of pharmacists say they are most likely to recommend patches and a third (34%) say they are most likely to recommend gum (34%)5. Evidence shows that patients are more likely to quit for good by using two NRT products in combination, compared to using just one NRT product alone6.

Key role for pharmacists to support smokers wishing to quit

Pharmacists surveyed by J&J show that they see a clear role for themselves as a partner to smokers, specifically:

- Discussing the benefits of quitting smoking.

- Recommending behavioural intervention in response to key life events such as pregnancy or illness, and calendar events such as a New Year Resolution to give up smoking or No Smoking Days.

- Explaining and discussing smoking cessation medications such as NRT.

Top tips for pharmacists to support smokers wishing to quit

- Assess the patient’s overall lung health (carbon monoxide testing and COPD check)

- Provide lifestyle advice including withdrawal symptom management

- Identify best treatment for individual patient

- Provide patient with access to smoking cessation services including helplines.


About the new survey

In total, 6,378 people were surveyed online by Ipsos MORI from six European countries with 1,113 adults from the UK aged 16-75; 1,013 adults from France aged 16-75; 1,056 adults from Germany aged 16-70; 1,085 adults from Italy aged 16-70; 1,074 adults from Spain aged 16-65 and 1,037 adults from Russia aged 16-60. The survey included a nationally representative quota sample of adults using Ipsos MORI’s online I:Omnibus from 25 August – 3 September 2020. Data has been weighted to known offline population proportions for age within gender, government office region, working status and social grade.

About Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health

At Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, we help more than 1.2 billion people live healthier lives, every day from their very first day. From drawing a baby’s bath and healing cuts and scrapes to protecting skin from the sun and soothing aches and pains, people have turned to our innovations for more than 130 years. Our portfolio of differentiated brands, including NEUTROGENA®, NICORETTE®, AVEENO®, LISTERINE®, CALPOL®, OGX® and JOHNSON’S®, combines the power of science with meaningful human insights to help people care for themselves and those they love.

Smoking facts


-Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking related diseases, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses7.

-Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions7. For example, it damages the heart and blood circulation, increasing the risk of developing a range of cardiovascular conditions and it damages the lungs, leading to conditions such as COPD, and worsening or prolonging the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma, or respiratory tract infections.

-Smoking during pregnancy carries significant risk to mother and unborn baby. Despite this, research suggests that more than one in ten pregnant women in England still smoke at the time they give birth, and while the number of women smoking while pregnant has fallen by nearly a third in the past decade, the rate of decrease has fallen in recent years8.



Johnson & Johnson Limited provides content and resources for pharmacists in the UK to help patients to quit including how to initiate conversations with smokers, support understanding of the evidence base, and provide pharmacists and their teams with the knowledge and skills they need to apply best practice in smoking cessation.

Click here for Nicorette (nicotine) Product Information


  1. Carson‐Chahhoud  KV, Livingstone‐Banks  J, Sharrad  KJ, Kopsaftis  Z, Brinn  MP, To‐A‐Nan  R, Bond  CM. Community pharmacy personnel interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD003698. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003698.
  2. J&J and Ipsos MORI – Consumer Research. August-September 2020. Survey of 6,378 people in UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia. The survey included a nationally representative quota sample of adults using Ipsos MORI’s online I: Omnibus.
  3. J&J Consumer Business Intelligence, August/September 2020. Research conducted in 10,690 nationally representative, 18-65 adults.
  4. World Health Organization, June 2020. Smoking and COVID-19 Scientific Brief.
  5. J&J Consumer Healthcare. HCP Smoking Cessation Global Report 2018 (1,200 Interviews conducted among 759 pharmacists in UK, France, Germany, Canada and Russia)
  6. Lindson N, Chepkin SC, Ye W, Fanshawe TR, Bullen C, Hartmann-Boyce J. Different doses, durations and modes of delivery of nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 4. Art. No. CD013308. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013308.