The School of Public Health department of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has found in its research on first randomised trial on pulmonary Tuberculosis patients in the country that a brief Smoking Cessation Intervention for Tuberculosis (TB) patients may help smokers quit smoking and improve treatment results.

PGIMER has also called for inclusion of Smoking Cessation Intervention (SCI) in Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).

Around 38 per cent of TB deaths are tobacco related but the TB and tobacco control programmes are yet not integrated in India, despite WHO’s recommendation.

“The TB patients are given standard advice on smoking. However, in this study, when a brief SCI was introduced at three steps. We found that smoking cessation was higher (80.2 per cent) in those who were considered for this intervention compared to others (57.5 per cent) who got the standard advice,” Dr Sonu Goel, Additional Professor of Health Management at School of Public Health, PGIMER told The Statesman here.

Dr Goel is a leading public health researcher in the country and was instrumental in making Punjab a tobacco free state.

He presented the findings at a doctors training program in Shimla and shared that TB treatment success was higher (74.7 per cent) among quitters as compared to regular smokers (25.2 per cent).

The research study formulated by Dr Sonu Goel, Dr Jeyashree Kethiresan from Madurai, Dr Preeti Sing from PGI and Dr Rana J Singh from International Union against TB and Lung Diseases (The Union) will be published in the Indian Journal of Public Health in September, 2017 issue.

In the study, a total of 685 smear positive pulmonary TB patients from Chandigarh were enrolled in the study out of which, 152 (22.7 per cent) were smokers.

This showed that the prevalence of smoking was almost twice among TB patients as compared to general population (11 per cent as per Global Adult Tobacco Survey-2009-10).

The study was carried out in all 17 Designated Microscopy Centres (DMC) under three TB units (TUs) of Chandigarh. From the patients, above 15 years, registered under the RNTCP, the consenting, current and occasional smokers were enrolled into the study and were followed up for one year.

Dr Goel said the percentage of quitters were significantly higher with intervention after first, second and third counselling sessions. “Overall,69.2 per cent of smokers had quit and the quitting rate increased progressively from first follow-up to the end of  TB treatment.”