Background: There is an enormous health burden caused by the co-prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) and tobacco use in India. This intervention study was undertaken in district Vadodara, Gujarat, India to promote tobacco cessation by integrating 'brief advice' for tobacco cessation in TB patients who were tobacco users and registered for treatment under TB control programme, based on the tested strategies advocated by World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union).
Materials and methods: Brief advice for tobacco cessation based on five A's, advocated by the WHO and the UNION was incorporated into the on-going TB Control programme in India in the year 2010. The tools were developed for education, training and capturing data. All the registered TB patients receiving directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS) who used tobacco in any form were offered brief advice during routine interaction for treatment.
Results: A total of 46.3% of TB patients, predominantly males (89.6% males and 10.3% females) were current users of tobacco; 39.1% used smokeless tobacco, 35.9% were smokers and 25% were dual users, that is, smoked as well as used smokeless tobacco. At the end of treatment, of the 67.3% patients who were offered brief advice, quit tobacco use, 18.2% re-lapsed while 14.5% were lost to follow-up.
Conclusion: A significant numbers of TB patients use tobacco with adverse impact on TB control programmes. Our study shows that it is feasible to introduce 'brief advice' strategy as a cost effective intervention for tobacco cessation among TB patients with careful monitoring.