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Indian J Public Health. 2017 Sep;61(Supplement):S29-S34. doi: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_235_17.

Integrated brief tobacco and alcohol cessation intervention in a primary health-care setting in Karnataka.

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Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chettinad Health City, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction Medicine, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Director, The Banyan and The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.



Tobacco and alcohol use are important preventable risk factors for noncommunicable diseases and need to be addressed in primary health care.


To find the effectiveness of Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST)-based brief intervention for alcohol and tobacco in a primary health-care setting in Karnataka.


This study was conducted in 2012 where one primary health center (PHC) in Karnataka was an intervention site and other the control site. One hundred patients each in both control and intervention PHCs took part in the study. In the control PHC, patients were administered the ASSIST questionnaire and given an information pamphlet on tobacco- and alcohol-related harm. In the intervention PHC, ASSIST-based brief intervention was provided for both tobacco and alcohol cessation. At the 3rd month, ASSIST questionnaire was re-administered to record their follow-up score. Chi-square test, paired t-test, and independent sample t-test were used for statistical analysis.


Following the initial assessment and intervention, there was statistically significant reduction in mean ASSIST scores for tobacco in both the PHCs. For alcohol, though there was reduction in scores in both PHCs, it was statistically significant only in intervention PHC. There was also a significant reduction in the number of heavy alcohol users in the intervention PHC following assessment and intervention.


This study shows that with minimal intervention, there is reduction in the degree of both tobacco and alcohol use and calls for wider and stringent research on the same topic.

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