Quit history, intentions to quit, and reasons for considering quitting among tobacco users in India: Findings from the Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation India Wave 1 Survey

Post Date: 
Indian Journal of Cancer

Background: GATS India 2009–10 revealed that more than one-third (35%) of adults in India use tobacco in some form: 21% use smokeless tobacco, 9% smoke, and 5% are mixed users (they smoke and use smokeless tobacco), and the quit rate is very low. In an effort to decrease prevalence of tobacco use, it is thus important to understand the factors that are related to intention to quit among Indian tobacco users. Research has shown consistently that intention to quit is a strong predictor of future quitting. The present study reports the factors encouraging quitting tobacco products in India.

Methods: Cross-sectional data from Wave 1 of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (TCP) India Survey conducted in four cities and surrounding rural areas [i.e. Mumbai (Maharashtra), Patna (Bihar), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), and Kolkata (West Bengal)] between August 2010 and December 2011 were analyzed. A total of 8,051 tobacco users (15+ years) were randomly sampled from 8,586 households: 1,255 smokers, 5,991 smokeless users, and 805 mixed (smoke and smokeless) users. Validated, standardized questions were asked about current tobacco use, intention to quit, and factors encouraging quitting.

Results: Overall, 19.6% of tobacco users intended to quit. Smokers had less intention to quit as compared to smokeless tobacco users whereas mixed users had more intention to quit (OR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.12–1.97) compared to smokeless tobacco users. Highly educated people were more likely to report intention to quit (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.09–3.02) compared to less educated. Advice by doctors to quit tobacco had a strong impact on intention to quit (OR = 1.68, CI = 1.29–2.15). Tobacco users who were exposed to anti-tobacco messages at work places (OR = 1.74, CI = 1.23–2.46), at restaurants (OR = 1.65, CI = 1.12–2.43), bars (OR = 1.81, CI = 1.07–3.06), on public transportation (OR = 2.14, CI = 1.49–3.08) and on tobacco packages (OR = 1.77, CI = 1.29–2.14) also expressed greater intention to quit tobacco use.

Conclusion: Around one-fifth of tobacco users in India intended to quit tobacco use. Higher education, doctor’s advice, and anti-tobacco messages were positively associated with users’ intention to quit tobacco.

Dhumal GG, Pednekar MS, Gupta PC, Sansone GC, Quah A, Bansal-Travers M, et al. Quit history, intentions to quit, and reasons for considering quitting among tobacco users in India: findings from the tobacco control policy evaluation India wave 1 survey”. Indian J Cancer 2014;51:39-45.