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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 9-15

Integrating tobacco and tuberculosis control programs in India: A win–win situation

1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Deputy Regional Director (Tobacco and NCD Control), The Union South-East Asia (The Union), New Delhi, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sonu Goel
Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Sector 12, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jncd.jncd_15_18

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An unequivocal relationship exists between tuberculosis (TB) and tobacco use. India has made the sustained efforts to reduce the dual burden of morbidity and mortality due to these two epidemics individually. It is now being felt to integrate two national programs which are tackling these diseases for their increased efficiency. Several opportunities exist for integration which includes joint policy development and planning, integrated trainings, joint supervision and monitoring, delivering tobacco cessation services among TB patients along with partnerships, and multisectoral approaches at national and subnational levels. The opportunities are limited by challenges such as lack of leadership and political commitment, limited resources, poor intersectoral coordination, dearth of community awareness, and limited capacity of TB program staff in tobacco cessation services. It is concluded that convergence of two national programs may lead to synergistic effect in decreasing the burden of both the public health problems. This kind of successful initiative of integrating tobacco control activities with TB, the control program may subsequently pave the way toward integration of tobacco control in other national programs and primary health-care services.

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