Determinants of Quit Attempts and Short-Term Abstinence among Smokers in India: Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2016-17

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Centre for Public Health, School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai 400088, Maharashtra, India.

2 Department of Community Medicine and Director (Research and Development), Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (DMIMS), Wardha 422001, Maharashtra, India.


Objective: The objective was to study the determinants of quit attempts and abstinence among smokers in India using nationally representative data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2). Methods: Data from GATS-India, (2016-17) was analysed. Key outcome variables included quitting attempts in the previous 12 months among smokers and duration of abstinence among those who attempted quitting. The receipt of messages through mass media, warning labels and quit advice by doctors or healthcare providers were key exposure variables for both outcomes. The use of cessation methods was an exposure variable for abstinence. Logistic regression analyses were employed to identify determinants of quit attempt and survival analysis for the duration of abstinence. Result: The adjusted analyses showed that those who received quit advice from doctors or healthcare providers had higher odds (2.11; CI 1.88-2.37) of quit attempts. Exposure to anti-smoking messages through media and warning labels was associated with higher quit attempt odds of 1.53 (1.33-1.77) and 1.63 (1.38-1.92), respectively, when the anti-smoking messages made the smokers think about quitting. The use of counselling as a cessation method had a lower risk (Hazard Ratio 0.80; 0.69-0.93) of relapse compared to the non-use of cessation aids. The use of counselling and modern pharmacotherapy also had a lower risk of relapse (Hazard Ratio 0.77; 0.59-0.99). However, only 6.0% had used counselling, and another 2.0% had used a combination of modern pharmacotherapy and counselling as cessation aids. Addiction to tobacco and higher consumption of smoked sticks were negatively associated with both outcomes. Conclusion: Quit advice by healthcare providers is associated with a higher likelihood of quit attempts. Counselling can help increase the period of abstinence in pragmatic settings, and there is a need to improve the access of smokers to counselling services.  


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