Introduction: Offering tobacco cessation interventions to TB patients is highly desirable due to the interaction between TB and tobacco use and the potential benefits of quitting. However, implementing such interventions in TB programmes remains a challenge and an under-researched area. Using two initiatives to implement tobacco cessation within TB programmes in Nepal and Pakistan as case studies, we describe these challenges and highlight lessons learnt in the process.
Methods: We first conducted a documentary review of all published and unpublished reports of the two initiatives including relevant qualitative and quantitative data and its’ analyses. We then analysed this information using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) under the five domains of implementation: intervention characteristics, outer settings, inner settings, participant characteristics and the process of implementation.
Findings: We faced a number of challenges in implementing tobacco cessation within TB programmes both in Nepal and in Pakistan. These included: doubts about the contextual relevance of the intervention, environments conducive to smoking and political inertia for a cultural shift, service providers’ workload, priorities, and their motivation and capacity to deliver tobacco cessation, and inadequate training and support during implementation. We learned that by adapting intervention to the local context, securing mandate from higher authorities, aligning tasks to service providers’ roles and receptivity, building capacity through adequate training and providing support, monitoring and feedback during implementation can help in integrating tobacco cessation within TB programmes.
Conclusions: Lessons from existing studies can help TB programmes in implementing tobacco cessation interventions and enable greater integration and sustainability of cessation services within routine TB care.