(CTN News) _ UVA Health will partner with 14 community pharmacies next year to help Appalachians quit smoking and test the effectiveness of multiple tobacco-quitting programs.
In rural Appalachian counties, the smoking rate was 20.9%, compared to 13.3% statewide, according to UVA Health.
Rural Appalachia has higher cancer rates due to smoking.
According to UVA Health, cigarette smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths and 90% of lung cancer deaths.
Rural Appalachians are less likely to take advantage of smoking cessation resources, despite these high rates of cancer related to smoking.
Researchers at UVA School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences are raising awareness of resources for Appalachian smokers.
It is clear that public smoking cessation resources aren’t reaching residents in this region.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to help more smokers quit by working with local community pharmacies.
UVA Health will partner with 14 pharmacies in Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee on the study, which will begin in April 2023.
Various smoking cessation programs will be evaluated in Appalachia.
The participants will receive nicotine replacement therapy through gum, a patch, or both.
Tobacco Quitline provides four phone calls over four weeks; a pharmacist meets with participants in person and five follow-up calls through QuitAid; and SmokefreeTEXT,
Which sends participants three to five texts a day for seven weeks to help them quit and prevent relapses.
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