Identifying non-pharmacological strategies for reduction and cessation of tobacco use in university students

Alvarado Echeona et al.


Identify non-pharmacological strategies for reduction and cessation of tobacco use, aimed at the community of undergraduate university students.


Classic systematic review of experimental scientific literature published in the last 20 years in databases and grey literature. The search algorithm consisted of using the maximum amount of terminology that described the research question, resulting in the largest number of results in the different databases. Evidence tables were constructed with the FLC 3.0 assessment tool and Excel 2021. Use of the GRADE tool enabled assessment of the quality of scientific evidence. Risk of bias was estimated in accordance with recommendations in the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions. A narrative summary of the included studies was provided, given the high degree of heterogeneity established by I2 statistics.


A search of databases and grey literature obtained 40 823 articles. After the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, seven articles were included: one study with impact on cessation, two studies on reduction, and four studies with an impact on both the reduction and cessation of tobacco use. The methodological quality was “good” according to the GRADE tool. The overall risk of bias was ‘low’. The high clinical and methodological heterogeneity of the studies prevented grouping for the construction of a meta-analysis.


Data from the seven articles show that non-pharmacological interventions can result in reduction and cessation of tobacco use in the university student population, although the evidence is still limited. Further studies are necessary in order to develop strong recommendations for implementation.

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