Smoking cessation: A public health necessity and every pharmacist's concern

Hannelie Meyer*, Natalie Schellack, Elmien Bronkhorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Tobacco smoking is a global public health problem, estimated to cause over 6 million deaths per year, including more than half a million non-smokers, dying of second-hand tobacco smoke. Smoking rates in South Africa have been declining over the last 20 years since the implementation of tobacco control measures, although the current prevalence of smoking is high (18.9%) with rates amongst males being five times higher than females. Similar to the rest of the world, smoking is also a leading cause of death in South Africa, with its risk factors exacerbated by tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus infection and non-communicable diseases. Tobacco control has major economic benefits for the health system, hence the importance of key policies combatting tobacco use as well as smoking cessation interventions. An overview of the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment interventions is provided, with a focus on the application of smoking cessation interventions in routine practice to ensure successful quitting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Intervention
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Smoking
  • Smoking cessation


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