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Smoking cessation medications and cigarettes in Guatemala pharmacies
  1. Ernesto Viteri1,
  2. Joaquin Barnoya1,2,
  3. Karen Suchanek Hudmon3,
  4. Pedro J Solorzano1
  1. 1Department of Research, Cardiovascular Unit of Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala
  2. 2Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University in St Louis, School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA
  3. 3Department of Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joaquin Barnoya, Cardiovascular Unit of Guatemala, 5a avenida 6-22 zona 11 Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala 01011; jbarnoya{at}


Background Guatemala, a party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), is obliged to promote the wider availability of smoking cessation treatment and to restrict tobacco advertising. Pharmacies are fundamental in providing smoking cessation medications but also might increase the availability of cigarettes.

Purpose To assess availability of cessation medications and cigarettes and their corresponding advertising in Guatemala pharmacies.

Methods In Guatemala City a representative sample was selected from a list of registered pharmacies classified by type (non-profit, chain, independent). In addition, all pharmacies in the neighbouring town of Antigua were included for comparison. Trained surveyors used a checklist to characterise each pharmacy with respect to availability and advertising of cessation medications and cigarettes.

Results A total of 505 pharmacies were evaluated. Cessation medications were available in 115 (22.8%), while cigarettes were available in 29 (5.7%) pharmacies. When available, medications were advertised in 1.7% (2) and cigarettes in 72.4% (21) of pharmacies. Chain pharmacies were significantly more likely to sell cessation medications and cigarettes, and to advertise cigarettes than were non-profit and independent pharmacies.

Conclusion Most pharmacies in Guatemala do not stock cessation medications or cigarettes. Cigarette advertising was more prevalent than advertising for cessation medications. FCTC provisions have not been implemented in Guatemala pharmacies.

  • Tobacco use cessation
  • community pharmacy services
  • Guatemala
  • advertising as topic
  • tobacco sales
  • advertising and promotion
  • cessation
  • tobacco products

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  • Funding This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre/Research for International Tobacco Control, Ottawa, Canada. JB receives additional support from an unrestricted grant from the American Cancer Society.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.