Background. India is home to the largest population of patients with tuberculosis and tobacco users in the world. Smokeless tobacco use exceeds smoking and is increasing. There is no study to date that reports smokeless tobacco use before and after the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. We assessed smokeless tobacco use among former patients of tuberculosis in Karnataka, India. Methods. We conducted a community-based, cross-sectional study among 202 men, who had been diagnosed and treated for tuberculosis (mean age 48 years), selected by multistage, random sampling. Using a semi-structured interview schedule, retrospective smoking and smokeless tobacco use were captured at eight time-points before and after the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. Results. Most patients suspended tobacco use during treatment. A high 44% prevalence of smokeless tobacco use 6 months before diagnosis was reduced to just 8% during the intensive phase of treatment and climbed to 27% 6 months after treatment. The tobacco use relapse rate 6 months after completion of treatment was higher for smokeless tobacco use (52%, 95% CI 41%-62%) than for smoking (36%, 95% CI 26%-45%). We also found that many patients who were advised to quit smoking continued using smokeless tobacco after completion of treatment. Additionally, new smokeless tobacco use was documented. Of the 11 new exclusive smokeless tobacco users, 10 shifted from smoking to smokeless tobacco use as a form of harm reduction. Conclusion. Patients with tuberculosis are advised by their doctors, at the time of diagnosis, to quit smoking. Several patients shift from smoking to smokeless tobacco use, which needs to be addressed while providing tobacco cessation services.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||National Medical Journal of India|
|State||Published - May 2012|
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