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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Patterns of Tobacco Use and Cessation Practices among Tuberculosis Patients in Trivandrum District of Kerala, India: Unmet Needs for Cessation

Thresia CU, PhD1, Thankappan KR1, Sailesh Mohan1, Pradeepkumar AS1, and Mark Nichter, PhD2. (1) Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, Thiruvananthapuram, 695011, India, (2) Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1009 E. South Campus Drive, Tucson, AZ 857210030

Objective: Both tobacco and tuberculosis (TB) are major public health challenges in India. Therefore to develop culturally appropriate tobacco cessation strategies, we explored the patterns of tobacco use and cessation practices among male TB patients undergoing treatment.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 206 male TB patients aged 18 years who had been in treatment for at least 4 weeks at various public healthcare institutions including one district TB centre and 6 TB treatment units in Trivandrum district of Kerala. Socio-demographics, information on patterns of tobacco use, quit practices, and other related information were collected using a semi structured questionnaire and six case reports

Results: Eighty percent of study subjects were tobacco users prior to diagnosis of TB. The majority of them used multiple products including cigarettes (66%), bidi (55%) and chew products (45%). Eighty percent of the total users tried to quit following the detection of TB. Though 52% of the total users tried and quit completely, 44% continued tobacco use at the time of being interviewed. A majority of tobacco users significantly reduced the quantity of tobacco they consumed following the detection of TB. Perceptions of risk related to tobacco use while afflicted with TB varied with a few patients reporting that smoking provided relief from symptoms. Seventy five percent of the participants reported being advised to quit smoking by their physician. This advice was interpreted by some patients to refer to the time period when medication was being taken and by others as general health advice.