Tobacco is one of the greatest threats to global health today. Use of smokeless tobacco (SLT) is associated with increased risk of chronic and terminal diseases. These encompass periodontal diseases, oral and pharyngeal cancers, myocardial infarction, stroke, erectile dysfunction and problems in pregnancy, including stillbirth and low birth weight. SLT is an addiction for millions of people worldwide, and research indicates increasing use by young individuals in many countries. SLT consumption involves chewing tobacco, often along with betel quid (betel leaf, arecanut, lime and catechu), and this is one of the most common addictions globally, particularly in the South-East Asia Region. The 11 countries in the South-East Asia Region have over 290 million SLT users, which is nearly 80% of the global figure. SLT users outnumber the estimated number of smokers in the Region. In many countries, while the prevalence of smoking is decreasing, the use of SLT is on the rise. The heterogeneity of custom-made and traditional SLT products in the Region poses an additional challenge to their regulation and testing. SLT consumption has the potential of becoming a global threat of massive proportions based on its aggressive marketing strategy, attractive packaging, flavouring and affordability.

This online course on SLT Cessation is offered by the WHO FCTC Global Knowledge Hub on Smokeless Tobacco (KH-SLT) at Indian Council of Medical Research National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research India (ICMR NICPR) in collaboration with Department of Health Sciences, University of York,UK

This course offers participants an understanding of the important issues concerning smokeless tobacco cessation. Students will be introduced to the Epidemiology and Harms associated with Smokeless Tobacco, its Addictive potential and Tobacco Withdrawal. A key focus will be the development of the knowledge and skills needed to support smokeless tobacco quit attempts, with particular emphasis on offering behavioural support and the use of nicotine replacement therapy.

NIHR acknowledgement and disclaimer: "This course is supported by the UK's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [ASTRA (Grant Reference Number 17/63/76)]. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care."