Archive for Activities

World No Tobacco Day – KMC Mangalore

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Smoke Free Home Campaign

Smoke Free Home Campaign initiated in Ujire Karnataka State by QTI, KMC, and Rotary Club Belthangady Taluk in association with SDM College and the NSS.  November 2013

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Tobacco Modules & Tobacco Cessation Skills for Medical Curriculum

Report of the One Day Sensitisation Workshop on Integration of Tobacco Modules and Tobacco Cessation Skills into Medical Curriculum of Kerala Medical Schools
Date: 13th Dec 2013 Kerala University of Health Sciences

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XXV Annual Conference: Karnataka Association of Community Health

30th of November & 1st of December, 2013




Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine Conference (IAPSM), Jan 2013


Members of the Project Quit Tobacco India (QTI) project presented on the first day of the conference in the plenary session. Their session was entitled “Introducing a comprehensive evidence based tobacco cessation curriculum in Indian Medical Colleges: Methods, Materials and Quit Tobacco India Experience”. The session began with an overview on QTI by Dr Thankappan, followed by a presentation by Dr Yamini Thankachy entitled “Introduction & Implementation of Tobacco Modules & Cessation Training in Medical Colleges”. The third paper in the session was delivered by Dr. G.K. Mini: “Smoking Cessation for Diabetes Patients: Results of a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial in Kerala, India. Following the session, CDs were distributed to interested participants which contained a few of the tobacco modules, tobacco cessation clinical videos, and QTI publications. Participants were referred to the QTI website for further information on the project and full access to project educational materials.

The session received an overwhelmingly positive response from the faculty of various medical colleges, who were quite impressed by the presentations. Many of the participants agreed that they did not have enough information on specific effects of tobacco on different medical conditions which they frequently saw in their practice. They also opined that tobacco cessation is a needed area and that they had not come across such a curriculum before. They were very appreciative of the clinical videos (one of which was shown during the presentation), since it captured the medical condition and the effect of tobacco on the condition, the patient response, and demonstrated how the doctor could provide information on tobacco cessation within the context of a medical encounter.

During the discussion, a number of questions were raised by faculty in the audience. These included:

  1. How were the modules actually implemented in the classroom?
  2. Did the faculty need to spend extra time and effort in the preparation and implementation of the modules?
  3. Were faculty members able to teach the mini lectures even though they did not have any formal training on tobacco and health or on issues of tobacco cessation?
  4. Where could faculty from other medical colleges obtain tobacco cessation training and how come they become certified as BI trainers?
  5. Did the website offer an online course on tobacco cessation?
  6. Were all materials shown in the presentation available on the website?
  7. Did QTI have any branches or partners in North India which could be approached for guidance?
  8. How have medical students benefitted from the curriculum and cessation training and when do they are these introduced in the curriculum?

Project QTI activities were highlighted in a ‘Times of India” newspaper article the day after the presentation. The article focused on the introduction and implementation of the tobacco curriculum and cessation and on the community program of “smoke free homes” in Kerala.

The IAPSM conference was an excellent opportunity to disseminate the research findings of Project QTI. Tobacco cessation modules and videos produced for the project were provided to the large national audience which was assembled comprised mainly of faculty from community medicine departments. Notably, these departments have successfully coordinated the implementation of the QTI tobacco curriculum in our partner medical colleges in Kerala and Karnataka. Thus, there is clearly scope and excitement about the spread of QTI curriculum and cessation training to other medical colleges in the country.

In the coming months, the main focus for QTI should be:

  1. To disseminate materials and publicize the website to as many medical colleges as possible throughout India.
  2. To provide a tobacco cessation course for doctors interested in certification as BI trainers.
  3. To develop the QTI demonstration video with both faculty and students to highlight how to implement the modules, the relative ease of implementation, and the utility of module implementation and training of medical students.

Dr Yamini Thankachy

Link to Times of India News


QTI Projects in the News

State joins fight against tobacco

The Hindu – May 30, 2012

Tobacco cessation has, for the very first time, figured in the State’s health action plan as policy makers acknowledge that the high prevalence of tobacco use could be contributing to the State’s increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The Health Department has decided to incorporate tobacco cessation counselling and sensitisation as a major activity within the primary care health system as Kerala launches its NCD control programme across 14 districts.

“For the first time, we are taking up tobacco as a key issue to be tackled within the health system as tobacco is the single common factor contributing to the increasing incidence and morbidity of all major NCDs prevalent in the State. The department will take up the initiative by linking it with the NCD control programme,” A.S. Pradeepkumar, Additional Director of Health Services (Public Health), said.

Clinics and counselling

Tobacco cessation counselling services and clinics will be started immediately in 3,000 to 5,000 sub-centres in all 14 districts. These will be weekly clinics attached to the NCD clinics. The department intends to back up the clinical services with a host of awareness programmes on tobacco hazards and its link to NCDs.

In Kerala, the prevalence of current smoking among men above 15 years is estimated to be 36% compared with 33% in India as a whole (2009). Approximately 10 per cent of adult men in Kerala use smokeless tobacco.

The department has started a training programme for doctors and health workers on tobacco hazards and running tobacco cessation programmes. About 230 doctors and 480 health workers were given training last week.


The Health Department is aided in this exercise by the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies (AMCHSS), the public health wing of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, the Regional Cancer Centre and Kottayam-based Kerala Voluntary Health Services, whose doctors and researchers are the key trainers.

Even though smoking and use of other forms of tobacco have been recognised as a major public health issue, governments’ efforts at reducing tobacco use among the public have focussed mostly on the taxation side. Linking tobacco to the NCD control programme is thus a pro-active public health intervention by the Health Department.

“There are many who would like to stop the use of tobacco, if only we could give them some support. There are few tobacco cessation counselling or clinical services in the State,” Dr. Pradeep pointed out.

Tobacco cessation is not very easy and, according to studies, the quit rate at population level in India is only about two per cent.

“There are only about 20 tobacco cessation clinics run by the WHO in India. But the community therapy and trained health workers can play a crucial role in helping those addicted to tobacco quit the habit,” says K.R. Thankappan, Professor and Head of AMCHSS.

As yet another World No Tobacco Day arrives on May 31, the State Health Department is unrolling a massive tobacco cessation initiative covering all the 14 districts, writes C. Maya


Freedom from Tobacco at Freedom Park – Bengaluru unites