Effectiveness of Behavioral Counseling in Smokeless Tobacco Cessation Among Adult Users Reporting to a Dental Hospital in Pune: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Cureus. 2022 Apr 11;14(4):e24041. doi: 10.7759/cureus.24041. eCollection 2022 Apr.


Aim To assess the effectiveness of behavioral counseling for smokeless tobacco cessation among adult users in a dental hospital setting. Methods A total of 200 patients visiting a dental hospital who were exclusively using smokeless tobacco (SLT) were enrolled in the study. A randomized controlled trial with a concurrent parallel study design, which consisted of two arms, was conducted. Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence level and the transtheoretical stage of change was assessed at the baseline. Behavioral cessation counseling and motivational interviewing were provided in the study arm and brief advice was given to those in the control arm. The counseling was provided at baseline and followed up till six months through telephone to assess the change in the frequency of use of SLT products and abstinence from SLT use. A biochemical validation with a urine cotinine test was done to confirm abstinence. Results At six months, there was a significant difference within and between the study and control groups, indicating the role played by behavioral tobacco cessation in reducing the frequency of consumption. About 24.4% of participants in the study group and 10% in the control group abstained from the habit at the sixth month, with an odd's ratio (OR)=2.91 and with a loss to follow-up of 10% in each of the groups. The cotinine test, which was used for validation, revealed a significant difference between the study and the control group. The number needed to treat (NNT) shows that to motivate one additional person to give up the SLT habit, we need to intervene with about seven people. Conclusion Behavior intervention with motivational interviewing was considered an effective method in promoting smokeless tobacco cessation among adults. Transtheoretical stages of change have proven to be an effective model to assess the stage of behavior change of the population toward SLT use and was also helpful for changing the behavior.

Keywords: behavioral counseling; india; motivational interviewing; smokeless tobacco(st); tobacco cessation.

Grant support

This project was supported by the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation (NSF) and received a grant of 30,000/-INR (Grant Number: CORPH19037594326).