Moving towards a tobacco free workplace at a cement manufacturing plant in Chandrapur, Maharashtra
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Salaam Bombay Foundation, India
Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A329
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According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey -2, 267 million adults consume tobacco in some form in India and 75% of them use smokeless tobacco. Smoking is banned in India in public places including indoor workplaces under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). However, there are no regulations for smokeless tobacco use, the most prevalent form. Workplaces offer a unique opportunity to address employees' health and influence their tobacco use behavior.
LifeFirst tobacco cessation service was provided at a cement plant with about 2000 employees in Chandrapur, Maharashtra with the objective of promoting and aiding quit attempts of tobacco users.

An awareness talk about tobacco and its ill effects and benefits of quitting was provided in groups to 1764 employees (all males). Employees voluntarily registered for the cessation service which included a detailed face to face counseling session followed by four follow up sessions over six months. Tobacco use status was recorded at each session. In addition to this, trainings for “Anti-tobacco champions” and the Medical Team were conducted for incorporating the initiative into the company's Occupational Health activities. An announcement was made by the plant head to make the plant tobacco free within a year.

648 employees voluntarily registered for the cessation service. 607(94%) of these were smokeless tobacco users, majority (77%) of them using the local tobacco product “kharra” (mixture of tobacco and areca nut). 552(85%) attended the follow up session at 6 months and 438(68%) of all registered users reported not using any form of tobacco, 50(8%) had reduced use, 60(9%) had made a quit attempt but relapsed.

By providing tobacco cessation activities within a workplace, employees using smokeless tobacco as well as smoking can be helped to quit their tobacco habit and create an environment conducive to a tobacco free workplace.

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