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VOLUME 60 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2018 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

National Tobacco Quitline: The Preliminary Indian Experience

Raj Kumar, Arun Kumar Jha, Vineet Gill Munish, Amal Pusp, Praveen Sinha, Pooja Gupta, Manoj Kumar, Shyam Kanhaiya Saroj, Jyoti Mishra1, Rachna, Shyam Mani Dubey, Amrita, Aradhana Berry, Arun Raheja, Gunjan Goyer, Kadambri, Mainaak Bhardwaj, Manisha Malik, Naveen Kumar, Prachi Tyagi, Pooja Solanki, Ritu Verma, Ruchi Salaria, Savitri, Zuhaib Zafar

Keywords : Smoking, Tobacco Quitline Service, Tobacco dependence, Abstinence rate

Citation Information : Kumar R, Jha AK, Munish VG, Pusp A, Sinha P, Gupta P, Kumar M, Saroj SK, JM, Dubey SM, Amrita, Berry A, Raheja A, Goyer G, Kadambri, Bhardwaj M, Malik M, Kumar N, Tyagi P, Solanki P, Verma R, Salaria R, Savitri, Zafar Z. National Tobacco Quitline: The Preliminary Indian Experience. Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci 2018; 60 (1):7-12.

DOI: 10.5005/ijcdas-60-1-7

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 18-11-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Background: Tobacco Quitline Services have the potential to reach a large number of tobacco users with the sole objective to provide telephone-based, information, advice, support, and referrals for tobacco cessation and is available free in most developed countries. India too now joins the international tobacco cessation movement with its own National level Tobacco Quitline Service. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact and success of National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS) in the first year of its inception Methods: Collection of data was done by telephonic interview method and was extracted from the National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS) database from May 30, 2016 to May 31, 2017. The tobacco users call at NTQLS tollfree number, assigned to receive four proactive calls from NTQLS. The proactive calls are set according to quit date. The registered subjects require furnishing of details about their tobacco use, history and personal information like name, age, address and other demographic data. The study evaluated the subject's tobacco dependence level. The subjects were offered sessions of counselling and choice to receive self-help material. The severely tobacco dependent subjects were referred to nearest tobacco cessation center. Results: A total of 60,222 calls hit the IVR (Interacted Voice Response System) of the NTQLS. 16,548 inbound calls were received and 94,900 outbound calls were made by the counsellors. The highest number of callers (46.5%) were from the state of Uttar Pradesh followed by Delhi (11.8%), Maharashtra (8.4%), Madhya Pradesh (4%), Rajasthan (3.8%), Haryana (3.4%), Gujarat (3.0%), Bihar (2.8%), West Bengal (2.8%), Punjab (2.4%), Karnataka (1.8%), Himachal Pradesh (1.3%), Odisha (1.3%), Jammu and Kashmir (0.8%), Telangana (0.7%), Jharkhand (0.6%), Tamil Nadu (0.5%), Andhra Pradesh (0.4%) and Kerala (0.3%). The north-eastern region including Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura contributed only 14 calls (0.3%). A total of 5179 callers were registered. There were 5067 (97.8%) male callers and 112 (2.2%) female callers for enrolling in the tobacco cessation programme. Smokeless form of tobacco use was the most prevalent than smoking (61.2% versus 26.4%). Both forms of tobacco (smoking and smokeless) was used by 12.4% of the callers. Khaini (47%) was found as the most prevalent smokeless tobacco product followed by Gutkha (43%). The number of cigarette smokers was found to be 73% followed by bidi smokers (25%). 17% of the registered subjects were found to be severely dependent on tobacco, 44% were moderately dependent whereas 39% had low dependence. Nearly 68% of the callers had already made an attempt to quit tobaccco; but were not successful. 2010 callers (38.81 %) successfully quit tobacco upto the last follow-up (proactive call – 4). Successful quitters (89%) did not have any difficulty or very less difficulty in managing withdrawal symptoms. Conclusions: Our obseevations suggest that the National Tobacco Quitline Services is freely accessible to the whole country. It is the easiest and most convenient way of tobacco cessation. The response showed that almost 40% of successful quitters were able to maintain tobacco cessation till the last proactive call during the first year of the start of the NTQLS.

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