Nearly 40 per cent of the 5,179 people, who had signed up with the health ministry's national tobacco cessation helpline 'Quitline', quit smoking and chewing tobacco, according to official data. A total of 2,010 registered callers have quit tobacco use after counseling since the toll-free helpline number -- 1800- 11-2356 -- was launched in May last year. The tobacco cessation programme was launched by Health Minister J P Nadda on May 30 last year. The project is financially supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and runs under the aegis of Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi. The data, gathered from May 30, 2016 to May 30, 2017, also revealed that majority of the registered callers were educated adults of age 25-64 years, which points to the fact that they were well aware of harmful effects of tobacco use but still chose to indulge in such habits, an official said. Experts said that majority of adults and youths are using tobacco under peer pressure, work pressure, stress, imitation, family conflicts, relationship issues, anxiety and social conformity. Interestingly, 46.45 per cent of the registered callers were from Uttar Pradesh, followed by Delhi. "The toll-free service is a good way to reach out to people who are reluctant to come forward with their problem of addiction due to the fear of being judged or being embarrassed or shy," said Prof.
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