Medical Student Counseling for Hospitalized Patients Addicted to Tobacco (MS-CHAT)

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University Hospitals (UH)




Medical Student Education
Smoking Cessation Counselling


Behavioral: Smoking Cessation Counseling

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The purpose of this randomized control trial is two- fold. The primary hypothesis of the study is that smoking cessation counseling delivered through trained medical students will lead to higher rates of abstinence amongst patients in the intervention group, as compared to a control group, when measured by self-reported and biochemical testing at 6 months after enrolment . The secondary hypothesis is that medical students engaging in a structured curriculum that includes counseling hospitalized smokers will show demonstrable increases in knowledge, confidence in their abilities, and use of smoking cessation techniques in regular practice.

Full description

India is the 2nd largest consumer of tobacco in the world, with 275 million Indians using tobacco. Each hospitalization is an opportunity for providers to motivate their patients to quit. However, the Indian medical curriculum typically offers little training in the skills required to successfully counsel a patient to quit smoking. The investigators hypothesize that trained medical students can increase subsequent quit rates among hospitalized smokers, while acquiring skills in tobacco cessation counseling. The investigators propose a 2-armed multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) that will compare the effectiveness of standard hospital practice versus a medical student-guided smoking cessation program initiated inpatient and continued for three months after discharge. The target study population includes current smokers admitted to the general medicine, pulmonary and cardiology wards. These patients will be randomized to receive either usual care or the intervention. The intervention group will receive both inpatient and longitudinal post-discharge telephone counseling by medical students who have successfully completed a training workshop in tobacco cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy. The students can also recommend nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to the patient if indicated. The control group will receive counseling and/or NRT at the discretion of the treating physician. They will not receive phone based counseling after discharge. Patients from both groups will be asked to report their quit status 6 months after enrolment.


700 patients




18 to 70 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  1. Patients age 18-70 years old, who are admitted to the medical, and if required surgical wards.
  2. Patients must be current smokers (cigarettes and/or bidis) at the time of admission or report having smoked at all in the last 4 weeks prior to admission (to account for changes in behaviour during illness).
  3. Patients living within 10 Km radius of the hospital.

Exclusion criteria

  1. Unwilling to participate
  2. Patients who use only non-smoked tobacco will be excluded.
  3. Patients who are are daily alcohol users, daily cannabis or psychotropic drug users.
  4. Patients who do not have a telephone/ unable to follow up
  5. Patients unable to understand the local/common language
  6. Patients with psychiatric conditions rendering them incapable of interacting with the providers
  7. Medically unstable patients
  8. Patients with expected hospital stay <24 hours
  9. Patients with life expectancy < 12 months
  10. Pregnant patients
  11. Patients currently participating in a tobacco cessation program
  12. Prior participation in this trial during another hospitalisation

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Single Blind

700 participants in 2 patient groups

Experimental group
Smoking Cessation counseling by trained medical students with or without Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Behavioral: Smoking Cessation Counseling
No Intervention group
The control group will receive counseling and/or NRT at the discretion of the treating physician.

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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