BACKGROUND: Globally tobacco epidemic kills nearly six million people annually. Consumption of tobacco products is on the rise in low- and middle-income countries. Tobacco is addictive; hence, tobacco users need support in quitting.
AIMS: Providing tobacco cessation services to women in community enabling them to quit tobacco, identifying factors associated with quitting and documenting the processes involved to establish a replicable "model tobacco cessation program."
SETTINGS AND DESIGN: This is a community based tobacco cessation program of one year duration conducted among women in a low socioeconomic area of Mumbai, India.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: It involved three interventions conducted at three months interval, comprised of health education, games and counseling sessions and a post intervention follow-up.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Uni and multivariate analysis was performed to find out association of various factors with quitting tobacco.
RESULTS: The average compliance in three intervention rounds was 95.2%. The mean age at initiation of tobacco was 17.3 years. Tobacco use among family members and in the community was primary reasons for initiation and addiction to tobacco was an important factor for continuation, whereas health education and counseling seemed to be largely responsible for quitting. The quit rate at the end of the programme was 33.5%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that women in higher age groups and women consuming tobacco at multiple locations are less likely to quit tobacco.
CONCLUSIONS: Changing cultural norms associated with smokeless tobacco, strict implementation of antitobacco laws in the community and work places and providing cessation support are important measures in preventing initiation and continuation of tobacco use among women in India.
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