Nicotine & Tobacco Research
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Abstract Introduction Consumption of smokeless tobacco (SLT) is on the rise (especially in the World Health Organization South-East Asian region) and has numerous repercussions over the consumer’s health. This article reviews studies performed for SLT cessation using behavioral interventions, worldwide till 2017. Methods A systematic review by PICO (Problem, intervention, comparison, outcome) of behavioral intervention-based SLT cessation studies with minimum 6 months’ follow-up, reporting outcomes in terms of risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence interval (CI), published between 1992 and 2017 was performed. This was followed by a meta-analysis of the outcomes of these studies by deriving the pooled estimates by the random effects model, for those on adults and youth, categorized according to the type of country where the study was performed, that is, in terms of developed or developing. Publication bias among the included studies was assessed by the Begg’s test. Results Nineteen eligible studies comprising 24 498 participants, from all over the world were included. Behavioral interventions showed overall efficacy in SLT cessation in adults (RR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.32 to 1.94) both in the developed (RR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.16 to 1.63) and developing (RR = 2.79, 95% CI = 2.32 to 3.25) countries. However, these interventions did not prove effective for SLT cessation among youth overall (RR = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.73 to 1.41), either in the developed (RR = 1.39, 95% CI = 0.58 to 2.21) or in the developing (RR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.07) countries. Publication bias was noted in all the studies among adults (p = .22) and youth (p = .05). Conclusion Behavioral interventions as a single modality are effective in SLT cessation, both in the developed and developing countries. Health care providers should be sensitized to provide the same. Implications A recent literature survey by Cochrane reviewed studies on interventions for SLT, including behavioral interventions, which included only those from the developed countries. The current analysis provides a broader, global update on the same by including studies performed both in the developed and developing countries (specifically the South-East Asian region—the high burden countries of SLT products).