News : 40% Helpline Callers Quit Tobacco
New Delhi, India, Jan 12, 2018 -- The government has claimed that 40 per cent of a total of 5,179 registered callers to the government's 'National Tobacco Quit-Line Services', the benchmark project of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, have been weaned off tobacco thanks to calling and following the programme laid down by the quit-line.
According to data shared by the ministry, 2,010 registered callers, quit tobacco in a span of one year between May 30, 2016, and May 31, 2017. The callers, the majority of whom were between the age group 25 and 64, quit smoking or chewing tobacco after receiving counseling from the quit-line services. The data also showed that 97.8 per cent of the registered callers were men and only 2.2 percent of women registered for the quit program.
The tobacco termination program, aimed at helping tobacco users end vits use, was inaugurated by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and works in collaboration with Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute.
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According to doctors in the program the quit-line was an ideal way in which to reach today's net connected generation.
"Tobacco quit-line services are the telephone-based free of cost services, with the primary objective to provide counseling for tobacco cessation. These services include support through educational material, in the form of SMS, e-mail, and websites," said Prof Raj Kumar, Head, Department of National Center of Respiratory Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (NCRAAI), Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi.
"The toll-free service is a good way to reach people who are reluctant to come forward with their problem of addiction due to their fear of being judged or being embarrassed or shy. The good results of the programme are motivating more people to come and seek help," he added.
Out of the number of registered callers, 2,406 i.e. 46.45 per cent were from Uttar Pradesh while Delhi was the second highest at 611. The one-year data analysis also found that the maximum number of callers, 73.4 per cent, had no family history of tobacco use.
Experts said that that majority of users were using tobacco under peer pressure, status symbols, to fit into a group, work pressure, stress, imitation, family conflicts, relationship issues, anxiety, social conformity etc.
What is the quitline service?
National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS) is a confidential telephone counseling, information and referral service for anyone seeking help with tobacco use. It can be accessed through a toll-free no. 1800-11-2356. It is operational 6 days a week, (Tuesday to Sunday 8 AM to 8 PM) following WHO protocol of Quit-line services.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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