Chennai: With the world set to observe No Tobacco Day on Thursday, Population Services International (PSI), a non-profit making NGO, has joined hands with American Cancer Society to introduce telephone based counselling for people who wish to quit smoking.

While there were about 100 quitlines globally, the PSI India quitline programme is the first in India. It is a proactive counselling service in English and Tamil and would be delivered by qualified counsellors trained specifically in tobacco cessation, a PSI press release said.

A quitline is a telephone based service that helps people quit tobacco, it said.

Facts show that about 35 percent of Indians over the age of 15 use tobacco and over a million Indians die every year from tobacco related diseases, the release said.

Tuberculosis is a major cause of tobacco-related premature death in India with TB three times more prevalent among smokers. "In this context, the quit line is a key tool to help people quit smoking", it added.


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