Smoking cessation among diabetes patients

India ranks second with respect to the number of people with diabetes (61 million) and the number of tobacco users (275 million). The prevalence of diabetes is rapidly increasing. The Southern state of Kerala has the highest prevalence (27.9%) of diabetes and stands as a warning signal to the future of the health scenario of India. Owing to the extensive complications in diabetes patients who smoke, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) have strongly recommended smoking cessation to these patients.
In a parallel-group, randomized, and controlled trial, Thankappan and colleagues documented the efficacy of counseling by non-doctor health professionals to diabetes patients, specifically those who smoked. The patients were divided into two intervention groups 1 and 2, where both groups received doctor’s advice and patient education materials for smoking cessation. The intervention group 2 specifically received additional 30-minute counseling sessions from a non-doctor health expert.
At the end of six months of follow-up, the chances of quitting smoking were 10 times higher for the intervention group 2 in comparison with intervention group 1. The intervention was found to be beneficial for both low level as well as high level smokers. The study concluded that trained non-doctor health professionals can play a significant part in helping a patient to give up smoking.
Source: Thankappan K et al. Smoking cessation among diabetes patients: results of a pilot randomized controlled trial in Kerala, India. BMC Public Health. 2013;13(1):47.

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