Physician's advice on quitting smoking in HIV and TB patients in south India: a randomised clinical trial.


Kumar S.R.; Pooranagangadevi N, Rajendran M, Mayer K, Flanigan T, Niaura R, Balaguru S, Venkatesan P, Swaminathan S.


Public Health Action; 2017; 7; 39-45.


Setting: National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Madurai, India.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of physician's advice on quitting smoking compared with standard counselling in patients with tuberculosis (TB) and patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.


Design/Methods: This was a clinical trial conducted in Madurai, south India, among 160 male patients (80 with TB and 80 with HIV), randomised and stratified by nicotine dependence (low/high according to the Fagerström scale), who received physician's advice with standard counselling or standard counselling alone for smoking cessation. Abstinence at 1 month was assessed by self-report and carbon monoxide breath analysis.


Results: The patients' mean age was 39.4 years (SD 8.5). Overall, 35% of the patients had high nicotine dependence. Most patients (41%) smoked both cigarettes and bidis. In a combined analysis including both the HIV and the TB groups, quit rates were 41% of the 68 patients in the physician group and 35% of the 68 patients in the standard counselling arm.


Conclusions: Physician's advice to quit smoking delivered to patients with TB or HIV is feasible and acceptable. Smoking cessation could easily be initiated in TB patients in programme settings. Future studies should assess long term abstinence rates with a larger sample size to demonstrate the efficacy of physician's advice.


Keywords: T uberculosis; human immunodeficiency virus; smoking cessation; physician's advice

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