Abstract

This study is the first to characterize tobacco-related content in pharmacy school curricula in the United States. A national survey mailed to 83 U.S. schools of pharmacy assessed the extent to which tobacco is addressed in required coursework, educational methods of instruction, perceived importance of addressing tobacco in the doctor of pharmacy degree program, perceived adequacy of current levels of tobacco education in curricula, and perceived barriers to enhancing the tobacco-related content. A total of 82 surveys (98.8% response) revealed a median of 170 min of tobacco education throughout the doctor of pharmacy program. The most heavily emphasized topics are aids for cessation, assisting patients with quitting, nicotine pharmacology and principles of addiction, and drug interactions with smoking, yet more than 40% of respondents believed that each of these topics was covered inadequately. Key barriers to enhancing tobacco training are lack of curriculum time and lack of clinical clerkship sites focusing on tobacco interventions. Pharmacy faculty members perceive tobacco cessation training to be important, yet a mismatch exists between the perceived importance and the perceived adequacy of current levels of training in pharmacy school curricula. The results of this study will serve as a baseline measure against which future, parallel assessments will be compared as faculty at schools of pharmacy across the United States work together toward enhancing the tobacco cessation training of student pharmacists.