Tobacco use, attitudes and cessation practices among healthcare workers of a city health department in Southern India
Objective: To assess tobacco use, attitudes and cessation practices among healthcare workers of a municipal health department in southern India. Materials and Methods: We undertook a cross-sectional epidemiologic study to investigate 558 healthcare workers from three groups (doctors, auxiliary nurses and community link workers (LWs)) employed by the Bangalore city corporation in southern India. Outcomes included self-reported tobacco use status and attitudes (for all workers), and (for doctors) self-report of performance of "5-A" tobacco cessation interventions: Asking, advising, assessing, assisting, or arranging follow-up for tobacco control, in their client population. Results: Doctors reported higher tobacco use rates (6.9%) compared to LW (2%) and nurses (<1%) but were less interested in further tobacco control training (77%) compared to the others (>95%). Many doctors reported asking (100%) and advising (78%) about tobacco use but much fewer were assessing intention/motivation to quit (24%), assisting with quitting (19%), and arranging follow-up for quitting and relapse prevention (9%). Conclusion: Tailored training in tobacco control would enable doctors, nurses and outreach workers involved in primary healthcare delivery to be better equipped to deal with a major cause of morbidity and mortality among urban communities in the 21 st century.