Evaluation of Feasibility and Acceptability of a Text-Messaging Intervention for Tobacco Cessation in India

Abhijit Nadkarni, Leena Gaikwad, Meriam Sequeria, Richard Velleman, Joseline D’souza, Ankita Hoble, Rajanish Haldankar, Pratima Murthy, Felix Naughton

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1 Citation (SciVal)


INTRODUCTION: The aim of our study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a brief behavioral intervention for tobacco cessation delivered via mobile phone text messaging in India. AIMS AND METHODS: We conducted an uncontrolled intervention cohort study in adult current users of tobacco. The participants received intervention messages on their mobile phones for eight weeks. We collected qualitative data about participants' perceptions of intervention delivery and receipt, acceptability, and feasibility of the intervention. The outcomes measured at 3 months post-recruitment were self-reported 7- and 28-day point-prevalence abstinence, and Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) risk categories for tobacco-low (0-3), moderate (4-26), and high (≥27). RESULTS: We recruited 26 eligible participants, and 22 completed the outcome assessments. The participants generally perceived the intervention content to be simple to access and useful in facilitating a change in tobacco use. None of the participants indicated that they wanted to discontinue receiving the intervention messages. Some suggestions for enhancing acceptability included supplementing text messaging with more intensive counseling and the use of multimedia content. Eighteen percent of participants reported abstinence in the past 7 and 28 days. A greater proportion of those who used smokeless tobacco were abstinent at follow-up compared to those who smoked (42.9% vs. 6.7%; p = .04). CONCLUSIONS: If effective, simple and low-cost mobile phone text messaging can be used to deliver interventions for tobacco use, and has the potential to be scaled up so it can be delivered to populations of smokers interested in receiving cessation support. IMPLICATIONS: Our study is an important step towards the development of a contextually relevant intervention suited for low- and middle-income countries and which is responsive to the needs of both those who use smoked and smokeless tobacco. If found to be effective, our intervention would be a scalable solution to overcome the human resource related barrier to accessing tobacco cessation services in low resource settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number1
Early online date28 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Data Availability
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, AN, upon reasonable request.

This work was supported by Department of Health and Social Care, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Medical Research Council, and Wellcome, UK (Grant number MR/R018456/1).


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