Prelims level : Governance Mains level : GS-II- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
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Why in news?

  • Since its inception in September, 2018, the union government’s tobacco Quitline, for counselling in south Indian languages, has received more than 5 lakh calls.
  • The National Tobacco Cessation QuitLine is a dedicated toll-free number that helps tobacco users to receive free support and guidance to subdue their addiction.


  • The Union government’s tobacco Quitline is monitored by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).
  • The helpline started by the Union Health Ministry in April 2018 is displayed on all tobacco products.
  • Subsequently, the south Indian regional languages cell, NIMHANS Tobacco Quitline was started on September 11, 2018.
  • Those who are unable to kick the habit only with the help of Quitline, are referred to the nearest Tobacco Cessation Clinic (TCC). Penetration in rural areas is the next plan.

mCessation programme:

  • Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, in partnership with World Health Organisation and the International Telecommunications Union, had started an initiative for utilising mobile technology for tobacco cessation.
  • WHO-ITU’s ‘Be Healthy Be Mobile’ initiative, aims to reach out to tobacco users of all categories who want to quit tobacco use.
  • The Centre’s ‘mCessation’ Programme to quit tobacco is a text messaging programme for mobile phone users.
  • A person looking to quit tobacco can give a missed call to the toll-free number after which, they will be sent a series of messages over several months.
  • In a 2018 report published by the peer-reviewed online journal BMJ Innovations it was reported that the ‘mCessation’ programme in India had seen a 19% quit rate (estimated as not used any tobacco in the past 30 days).
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