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Anthropology Speakers' Series

Building Capacity for Tobacco Cessation in India, Indonesia, and Turkey: From Formative Research to Clinic and Community-Based Interventions

Speaker: Mimi Nichter | Professor, University of Arizona, School of Anthropology
Filmed: Friday, September 15, 2017 | 3pm

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While smoking prevalence has been on the decline in many high-income nations, this is not the case in low- and middle-income countries that are the target of the transnational tobacco companies. In this presentation, I briefly highlight the global burden of tobacco to explore why this topic remains central to global public health. Drawing on over a decade of research in India, Indonesia and Turkey, I consider the role that anthropology can play in developing and implementing tobacco cessation programs in diverse cultural contexts. Data are drawn from Project Quit Tobacco International (QTI), an ongoing research initiative that has conducted formative research to explore issues such as patterns of tobacco use and exchange and perceptions of risk to self and others among smokers and health care providers. Project QTI has developed an illness-specific cessation counseling approach that establishes the relevance of quit advice to the patient beyond the limited recognition that tobacco is associated with cancer and COPD. Working with communities, we have focused on raising the consciousness of smokers to the harm they are causing to non-smokers in their households (women and children) which has led to a smoke-free homes initiative.