Smoking cessation interventions in South Asian Region: a systematic scoping review

Sajid Iqbal, Rubina Barolia, Pammla Petrucka, Laila Ladak, Rameesha Rehmani, Abdul Kabir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cigarette smoking is one of the most preventable causes of morbidities and mortalities. Since 2005, the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) provides an efficient strategic plan for tobacco control across the world. Many countries in the world have successfully reduced the prevalence of cigarette smoking. However, in developing countries, the prevalence of cigarette smoking is mounting which signifies a need of prompt attention. This scoping review aims to explore the extent and nature of Smoking Cessation (SmC) interventions and associated factors in South Asian Region (SAR) by systematically reviewing available recently published and unpublished literature. Methods: The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) framework frames the conduct of this scoping review. PubMed, EBSCO CINAHL Complete, Cochrane Library, ProQuest Dissertation and Theses, and local websites as well as other sources of grey literature were searched for relevant literature. In total, 573 literature sources were screened. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) flow diagram, finally, 48 data sources were included for data extraction and analysis. We analyzed the extracted SmC interventions through the FCTC. Factors that affect smoking cessation interventions will be extracted through manual content analysis. Results: Regarding FCTC recommended smoking cessation strategies (articles), most of the articles were either neglected or addressed in a discordant way by various anti-smoking groups in SAR. Key barriers that hamper the effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions included lack of awareness, poor implementation of anti-smoking laws, and socio-cultural acceptance of tobacco use. Conversely, increased levels of awareness, through different mediums, related to smoking harms and benefits of quitting, effective implementation of anti-smoking laws, smoking cessation trained healthcare professionals, support systems, and reluctance in the community to cigarette smoking were identified as facilitators to smoking cessation interventions. Conclusion: The ignored or uncoordinated FCTC’s directions on smoking cessation strategies have resulted in continued increasing prevalence of cigarette smoking in developing countries, especially SAR. The findings of this review highlight the need for refocusing the smoking cessation strategies in SAR. Strengths: The review was conducted by a team of expert comprising information specialists, and senior professors bringing rich experience in systematic and scoping reviews. Every effort was made to include all available literature sources addressing cigarette SmC and associated factors in SAR. The review findings signal the need and direction for more SmC efforts in SAR which may contribute to development of effective policies and guidelines for the control of smoking prevalence. Limitations: Despite efforts, potentially relevant records may have been missed due to unpublished or inaccessible articles, unintended selection bias, or those published in local languages, etc. Moreover, the exclusion of literature on under 18 participants and mentally ill smokers may limit the generalizability of findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1096
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Cessation
  • Cigarette
  • Interventions
  • Measures
  • Quit*
  • South Asia*
  • Strategies
  • Tobacco


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