LifeFirst aims to bridge the gap for evidence-based research on tobacco cessation in developing countries.

In the developing world, there is a need for meaningful research focussing on tobacco and health. LifeFirst has made a pioneering attempt to develop culturally appropriate approaches to tobacco cessation within various settings in India especially creating evidence for addressing cessation models for smokeless tobacco use within the Indian population. Research within LifeFirst aims at:

Ongoing research studies

  1. Adapting and evaluating a brief advice tobacco intervention in high-reach, low-resource settings in India
  2. Providing tobacco cessation services to pregnant women through a rural community-based antenatal care service program in India
  3. Evaluating the modified LifeFirst tobacco cessation intervention implemented during the lockdown period of COVID-19 Pandemic
  4. Assessing the effectiveness of a tobacco cessation intervention among patients admitted to a tertiary hospital in Mumbai

Research Grants

Project name: LifeFirst SWASTH (Supporting Wellbeing among Adults by Stopping Tobacco Habit)

Study Title: Adapting and evaluating a brief advice tobacco intervention in high-reach, low-resource settings in India

Funding body: National Cancer Institute (NCI), Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States of America

Grant Number: 1R01CA230355-01A1

Grant period: 2020-2025

Partners: Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Boston University School of Public Health and Dimagi Inc.

For more details about this grant please click here to download the brochure.

Research Partners

Research Consultants

Ethics Committee

All research studies conducted under LifeFirst undergo a two staged process of a Scientific Review and Ethics Review. The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and the Joint Ethics Committee (JEC) for Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation and Salaam Bombay Foundation review all studies proposed by LifeFirst. The SRC is composed of well-known external experts from the field of Public Health. The JEC is composed of external and internal members that includes clinicians, legal experts, social scientists and others. The JECis constituted in accordance with the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research following the National Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical and Health Research involving Human Participants. The JEC is registered with National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA and has Federal Wide Assurance (FWA).


  1. Mandal, G., Satyanarayana, S., Dongre, A. R., Mahalakshmy, T., Gupte, H. A. (2021). Assessing the outcome and influencing factors of a behavioral tobacco cessation intervention within a workplace setting: A mixed methods study. Population Medicine, 3(June), 16. DOI:
  2. Bhojani, U., Varma, A., Hebbar, P. B., Mandal, G., & Gupte, H. (2021). LifeFirst: Impact of a school-based tobacco and supari cessation intervention among adolescent students in Mumbai, India. Population Medicine, 3(May), 1-9. DOI:
  3. Chatterjee, N., Gupte, H. A., & Mandal, G. (2021). A qualitative study of perceptions and practices related to areca nut use among adolescents in Mumbai, India. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. DOI:
  4. Gupte, H. A., D’Costa, M., Ramanadhan, S., & Viswanath, K. (2020). Factors Influencing Implementation of a Workplace Tobacco Cessation Intervention in India: A Qualitative Exploration. Workplace Health & Safety, 2165079920952761. DOI:
  5. Gupte, H. A., Mandal, G., & Jagiasi, D. (2020). How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected tobacco users in India: Lessons from an ongoing tobacco cessation program. Tobacco prevention & cessation, 6. DOI:
  6. Gupte, H. A., Thawal, V., Gopalan, K., & Chatterjee, N. (2020). Tobacco Cessation and the Non-Allopathic Private Physician in India: A Survey in Navi Mumbai, India. Community Med, 11(2), 64-70. DOI: 10.5455/njcm.20190910080603 (
  7. Chatterjee, N., Gupte, H., Mandal, G., & Bhutia, T. (2019). Does adding a psychosocial cessation intervention to an existing life-skills and tobacco-prevention program influence the use of tobacco and supari among secondary school students?: Findings from a quasi-experimental trial in Mumbai, India. Tobacco prevention & cessation, 5 DOI:
  8. Gupte, H. A., D’Costa, M., & Chaudhuri, L. (2020). Why do Adolescents Initiate and Continue Using Tobacco and Areca Nut?: A Qualitative Study Tracing Pathways of Use Among School-Going Adolescents in Mumbai, India. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 22(11), 2022-2031. DOI:
  9. Kruse, G. R., Thawal, V., Gupte, H. A., Chaudhuri, L., Pradhan, S., Howard, S., & Rigotti, N. A. (2020). Tobacco use and subsequent cessation among hospitalized patients in Mumbai, India: a longitudinal study. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 22(3), 363-370. DOI:
  10. Gupta, P. C., Ray, C. S., Papke, R. L., Stepanov, I., Khariwala, S. S., Chaturvedi, P., ... & Pednekar, M. S. (2018). Perspectives on areca nut with some global implications: symposium report. Translational Research in Oral Oncology, 3, DOI:
  11. Gupte, H. A., Zachariah, R., Sagili, K. D., Thawal, V., Chaudhuri, L., Verma, H., ... & Rigotti, N. A. (2018). Integration of tobacco cessation and tuberculosis management by NGOs in urban India: a mixed-methods study. Public health action, 8(2), 50-58. DOI:
  12. Chatterjee, N., Todankar, P., Mandal, G., Gupte, H., Thawal, V., Bhutia, T., & Choudhuri, L. (2016). Factors associated with tobacco use in students attending local government schools in Mumbai, India. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP, 17(12), 5075. DOI: 10.22034/APJCP.2016.17.12.5075 (