Smokeless tobacco - South Asians: call for evidence

The deadline for evidence submissions has now passed.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been asked by the Department of Health to develop public health guidance on Helping people of South Asian origin to stop using smokeless tobacco. The final scope for this guidance can be found here.

A series of evidence reviews and an economic analysis are being conducted to help to address the key questions that are set out in the scope. We would like to receive details of evidence that relates to these questions:

  • Question 1: Which interventions, or combination of interventions, are effective and cost effective in helping South Asian people to stop using smokeless tobacco in England?
  • Question 2: How should interventions be targeted and tailored for the different subcategories of users within the South Asian community (grouped, for example, by gender, age, religion, socioeconomic status or by country of origin)?
  • Question 3: What opinions, attitudes or cultural practices encourage (or predispose) South Asian people in England to use smokeless tobacco? Do these factors also determine the particular varieties used?
  • Question 4: Are health professionals aware of the widespread use of smokeless tobacco among South Asian communities and its dangers? Does lack of awareness mean that people are not being referred for, or receiving, support to stop using these products, or that support services are not being commissioned?

Appendix C of the guidance scope lists some further issues that the evidence reviews might be able to address.

We are interested in a broad range of different types of evidence. This includes quantitative or qualitative research, published or unpublished.

Given the focus of the guidance on South Asians in England, we are only interested in research that concerns the following broad categories of products used by this population:

  • Gutka, Khaini, Pan Masala or Shupari (betel quid), Shammah and Maras powder (these are sucked or chewed)
  • Zarda, Qiwam, or Mawa (chewed)
  • Lal dantmanjan, Gadakhu, Gul, Mishri, or Creamy Snuff (dental products which are used as toothpaste or rubbed on gums) 
  • Nass (can be used either nasally or sucked or chewed).

Please note that snus and other low toxicant smokeless tobacco products are excluded from the guidance, so we do not need to receive evidence on this.

In terms of published material, we are interested in identifying studies that have been published since 1990 that relate to the questions outlined above.  The studies may be published in journals, texts or monographs.  

In terms of unpublished material, we are interested in identifying unpublished manuscripts relating to research conducted since 1990, or any ongoing research that is being conducted, and which relates to the review questions outlined above. 

We are also interested in evidence that may help to develop guidance that can promote equality of opportunity to access to services and interventions that aim to help people stop using smokeless tobacco.   Therefore we are interested in evidence that analyses outcomes and experiences by: age, disability, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion and belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.

Please note that the following material is not eligible for consideration:

  • Promotional material
  • Undocumented assertions of effectiveness.
  • Opinion pieces
  • Forms with electronic attachments of published material, or hard copies of published material.   For copyright reasons, we cannot accept these copies.   However, if you give us the full citation, we will obtain our own copy

Instructions for published material

Please send either full reference details (which are to include author/s, title, date, journal or publication details including volume and issue number and page numbers), - not  a PDF/WORD attachment or hard copy - using this form by 5pm on 30 June to:

Instructions for unpublished material

If you are aware of trials/ongoing research relevant to our questions which are in progress please could you help us to identify that information by providing relevant information such as a link to a registered trial with the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Clinical Trials) (, or with the US National Institutes of Health trials registry (  

If you wish to submit academic in confidence material (i.e. written but not yet published), or commercial in confidence (i.e. internal documentation), please could you highlight which sections are confidential by using the highlighter function in Word.

We look forward to receiving information on this and thank you in advance for your help.

Submission forms

This page was last updated: 01 July 2011