New Delhi: If you have been desperately trying to kick that cigarette smoking habit, you may have an unlikely ally soon: hospitals.

The Union ministry of health and family welfare has directed all state-run and private hospitals to create tobacco cessation centres (TCCs) within their premises.

According to the health ministry, the TCCs will provide treatment to vulnerable patients, such as pregnant women, children, adolescents and adults, through behavioral intervention, pharmacotherapy and relapse prevention therapies.

TCC Directives

These directives have been cited in the government’s latest report on operational guidelines for establishing TCCs in medical institutes.

This directive is especially for more than 1,000 medical colleges and it’s attached hospitals (300 dental colleges plus 700 medical colleges).

Going forward, the plan is to integrate the TCCs with allied health services such as AYUSH etc.

Queries sent to the health ministry spokesperson remained unanswered.

Tobacco Epidemic

Tobacco consumption in its various forms is responsible for nearly 1.35 million annual deaths in India. Tobacco is dangerous to health because nicotine, a highly addictive substance present in it, affects the brain and various parts of the nervous system.

While tobacco users who understand the risk of tobacco use desire to quit, they are unable to do so due to lack of medical intervention, according to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS)—2.

“The three major diseases caused by tobacco use are cancer, coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The idea is to develop the strength in medical institutions, then establish a safety network to provide necessary care to the patient as once the person plans to quit, he should know where to go and get possible care,” said Dr Vikrant Mohanty, professor and head of the department of public health dentistry at Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS), Delhi, adding that TCCs in medical institutions would offer an ideal platform to educate and sensitize medical undergraduate students for a lifetime.

“On average, 30 out of 100 people consume tobacco in various forms. Additionally, GATS-2 survey says that 266.5 million individuals are using tobacco in India and over 50% people want to quit tobacco,” he said.

The hospitals have further been asked to collate data for such patients and notify the government for data analysis.

The provision of tobacco cessation is one of the main objectives of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) and in line with Article 14 of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control.









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Published: 02 Jun 2024, 09:41 PM IST

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