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Table 7 Main themes and illustrative quotes arising from interviews with participants

From: A mixed methods feasibility study of nicotine-assisted smoking reduction programmes delivered by community pharmacists – The RedPharm study

Recruitment
“[The pharmacist] knew that I smoke anyway. So, he just suggested it to me as an idea, because I always buy patches from the pharmacy. So, he goes “Why not do it this way, because it would save you money and it would help you as well.” PPT1
“I went in and asked him because he got the thing on the door… about quitting there and to ask for advice there. And, I asked him. And, he says, “I’ll put your name down.”…And, that was it. And, it just sort of picked up from there.” PPT2
"Normally, what it is with these local chemists, they always have programmes running. And, I’ve been with him once before or twice before, I think, previously. But, he knows that I give in to temptation very quickly – the smoking part of it…I felt happy [that he offered me the programme], because …it’s actually not just like a face behind the counter…just give the medication and that’s it. He actually showed concern.” PPT3
“I [saw] the sign outside, I was sort of interested myself anyway” PPT4
“I was asked because I’ve been buying patches and stuff previously. So they obviously knew that I was trying to give up.” PPT5
Reactions to the programme
“It was overall a good experience being on it because …I was buying patches before privately and they were costing too much. So, obviously when I found out about this scheme, it’s a one-off payment and then you’ve got like nine months as a free course thing so I took part of it and it did actually help me progress quite well actually. I’d been on 8 weekly programmes before, you see, and they haven't been successful. Whereas, this one …it’s got more time for me to quit…or to reduce, either way” PPT1
Do you think that the programme worked for you overall? Yeah, it did. …and why was that? Well, you know, it just did. We just made our minds up well I did. And, I just stopped.”PPT2
Do you think that the programme worked for you? It has. It actually made a lot of great improvement for myself. Again, I’ve cut down. Sadly, I haven’t completely quit but, I have actually cut down to between 2–3 a day; now, to maybe once every 2 days……and that’s without any patches or anything. So that’s actually… worked for me. It’s like I have a bit more…like a stronger hold on it.” PPT3
“Did you find it helpful that you didn’t have to stop completely? I did stop completely. The thing was I did stop completely, I didn’t sort of go smoke and…because, you were allowed to have a certain amount of cigarettes a week. But, from Day 1, I sort of went cold turkey and used the patches. And, I didn’t smoke.“PPT4
Motivation
“Did the offer to join the programme…increase or affect your motivation in any way to try and quit or reduce your smoking? Increased it, because I knew that it was there in place and I could take part in it. I had an opportunity so I worked for it… PPT1
“You’ve got some support, haven’t you? If you tried to do it on your own, you’ve got no support. Whereas, if you’re doing it like with… any pharmacy… you start to get educated. You could go in and have a chat and you’d get it all sorted…. It gives you, you know, another incentive to keep going.”PPT2
“It’s monitored on a weekly basis. Yeah, that was an incentive really. It’s monitored. Normally, the other ones don’t really get monitored. It gives you a greater incentive to not to smoke. And, especially, when you see the carbon coming down and down every week or when it hits zero” PPT4
“When you first joined the programme, did it help your motivation? They did a bit, yeah, of course, you’d have to go through all the process of filling in forms… and talking about it and they ask you all the necessary questions … “What have you tried and have you tried this or have you tried that?” And all the details about how you manage…with those things that you tried and I thought, “Oh, yeah, I will give it another go.” But it didn’t last long, I’m afraid, now” PPT5