WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 159-168

Initiating tobacco cessation services in India: challenges and opportunities

1 World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
2 Directorate General of CGHS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, India
3 Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India
4 National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India
5 Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
6 Tobacco Free Initiative, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
7 World Health Organization Country Office for India, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Pratima Murthy
National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206929

PMID: 28612792

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Background: Tobacco use contributes significantly to the diseases burden in India. Very few tobacco users spontaneously quit. Therefore, beginning 2002, a network of 19 tobacco cessation clinics (TCCs) was set up over a period of time to study the feasibility of establishing tobacco cessation services. Methods: Review of the process and operational aspects of setting up TCCs was carried out by evaluation of the records of TCCs in India. Baseline and follow-up information was recorded on a pre-designed form. Results: During a five-year period, 34 741 subjects attended the TCCs. Baseline information was recorded in 23 320 cases. The clients were predominantly (92.5%) above 20 years, married (74.1%) and males (92.2%). All of them received simple tips for quitting tobacco; 68.9% received behavioural counselling for relapse prevention and 31% were prescribed adjunct medication. At six-week follow-up, 3255 (14%) of the tobacco users had quit and 5187 (22%) had reduced tobacco use by more than 50%. Data for three, three-monthly follow-ups was available for 12 813 patients. In this group, 26% had either quit or significantly reduced tobacco use at first follow-up (three-months), 21% at the second (six-months) and 18% at the third follow-up (nine-months) had done so. Conclusions: It is feasible to set up effective tobacco cessation clinics in developing countries. Integration of these services into the health care delivery system still remains a challenge.

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