INTRODUCTION: Smoking is a substantial cause of premature death in patients with tuberculosis (TB), particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with high TB prevalence. The importance of incorporating smoking cessation and tobacco-dependence treatment (TDT) into TB care is highlighted in the most recent TB care guidelines. Our objective is to identify the likely key facilitators of and barriers to smoking cessation for patients with TB in LMICs.
METHODS: A systematic search of studies with English-language abstracts published between January 2000 and May 2019 was undertaken in the EMBASE, MEDLINE, EBSCO, ProQuest, Cochrane and Web of Science databases. Data extraction was followed by study-quality assessment and a descriptive and narrative synthesis of findings.
RESULTS: Out of 267 potentially eligible articles, 36 satisfied the inclusion criteria. Methodological quality of non-randomized studies was variable; low risk of bias was assessed in most randomized controlled studies. Identified facilitators included brief, repeated interventions, personalized behavioural counselling, offer of pharmacotherapy, smoke-free homes and a reasonable awareness of smoking-associated risks. Barriers included craving for a cigarette, low level of education, unemployment, easy access to tobacco in the hospital setting, lack of knowledge about quit strategies, and limited space and privacy at the clinics. Findings show that the risk of smoking relapse could be reduced through consistent follow-up upon completion of TB therapy and receiving a disease-specific smoking cessation message.
CONCLUSIONS: Raising awareness of smoking-related health risks in patients with TB and implementing guideline-recommended standardized TDT within national TB programmes could increase smoking cessation rates in this high-risk population.