Train your team: Smoking cessation

Training your team and ensuring everyone's knowledge is up-to-date are important CPD triggers. We suggest that you get the team together for a training session based on the activities below and discuss the various ways in which you can offer customers and patients added care in this category.


Subject: Smoking cessation

This Train Your Team checklist provides support and information to run a team training session on smoking cessation. This content can also be used for your own CPD.


  • How frequently do I, or my staff, ask about smoking status?
  • Am I familiar with NICE guidance on smoking cessation?
  • Am I aware of the appropriate use of NRT in pregnant and breastfeeding women, children over the age of 12 years and patients with cardiovascular, liver or kidney disease?
  • Do I know what information I should obtain from an individual smoker before recommending a NRT product?
  • Am I confident in my knowledge of other preparations used for stopping smoking (e.g. bupropion and varenicline)?
  • Am I familiar with NHS Stop Smoking Services in my area? Do I know where to refer customers for further help?

Training checklist

Ensure support staff understand the following key points:

  • People who want to stop smoking can be successfully managed in the pharmacy
  • Any protocol you would like them to follow and the customers you would like referred to the pharmacist
  • People asking regularly for cough medication and/or buying whitening toothpastes should be questioned about their smoking status
  • Care should be taken to identify the NRT product which is likely to be most effective for an individual customer based on numbers of cigarettes smoked, the time of the first cigarette and any problems the prospective quitter has had in the past (e.g. managing cravings).

I will:

  • Update my knowledge of NRT formulations, doses, indications for use in different smokers and changes to licensing
  • Ensure that a customer’s smoking status is checked during medication reviews, on requests for cough medication and in patients with smoking-related conditions
  • Draw up a smoking cessation protocol to ensure that my staff ask the right questions so that the most appropriate NRT product is recommended
  • Train my pharmacy assistants to ensure they can meet the points in the training checklist.

Latest discussions

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