Strict control needed
One positive piece of news that was rather ignored by the media and other news platforms this week was an order issued by district administration in Kulgam regarding the sale of tobacco products.
The order has asked all the vendors to procure license from the administration for selling tobacco products. Though the order may seem a bit obnoxious for the vendors or the trading community but such an order is the need of the hour not only in Kulgam but entire Jammu and Kashmir.
Sale of tobacco products is being compromised in many ways in the region. Not only is the sale of loose tobacco and cigarettes going on in every nook and corner here but in most of the cases even minors are laying their hands on these products which needs an immediate halt.
Tobacco use is growing in Jammu and Kashmir. And the bad part is that all the earlier orders to curtail the use have been ignored by the authorities and as of now no mechanism is in place to curb the increased use of tobacco products.
Ironically, the government has forgot to arrange for a follow up on COTPA act. The hazards of smoking are known to all. Smoking cigarettes is a known health hazard however, for obvious reasons the governments both at the federal or the state level have failed to act against it.
But when it comes to a place like Jammu and Kashmir cigarettes have proved to be more devilish as it has affected the younger population to the hilt. The issue has become so grave that cigarette smoking is proving to be a stepping stone for various other drug abuses that are prevalent among the younger population.
As of now Kashmir valley is witnessing increased use of psychotropic medicines and other drugs. A study conducted last year revealed that a majority of the people using drugs in Kashmir fall in the age group of 10-20 years, the age at which a person starts taking drugs also has been becoming lower in the recent past.
All this needs an immediate attention from us as we cannot let the posterity to go wandering in despair and desolation.
Our society has accepted the fact that the modern family set-up, where both the parents were working and there was hardly any time being spent with children is an accepted norm. This phenomenon has predisposed our younger generation to risky behavior including cigarettes and substance abuse. We have to rise to the occasion and get things to run on proper tracks.
The foremost part that can be worked on is to curtail the sale of tobacco and cigarettes and this can be achieved only when the product is made to be sold under a license. This will at the most bring in some responsibility among the vendors who would deist it from selling in the loose form besides selling the product to minors.
The administration needs to work out on the issuance of licenses not only in Kulgam region but the entire Jammu and Kashmir.