21 percent adults use tobacco in JK
Slew of measures taken to curtail use: Officials
Srinagar: Around 21 percent adults in Jammu and Kashmir are using tobacco even as authorities have taken slew of measures to decrease the percentage of tobacco consumption in J&K.
As per GATS 2 Data 35.2% Men & 5.1% women & 20.8% of all Adults currently smoke Tobacco in J&K
As per data available 6.8% Men & 1.5% women & 4.3% of all Adults currently use smokeless Tobacco, 39.7% Men & 6.2 % women & 23.7% of all adults either smoke tobacco or use smokeless Tobacco.
The National Health and Family Survey-5 (NHFS-5) data reveals nearly one-third (32%) of men, but only 1 percent of women, age 15-49 use some form of tobacco.
“Tobacco products mostly used by men are cigarettes (27%), bidis (4%), hookah and cigars or pipe (2% each). Among women and men, the use of any form of tobacco is slightly higher in rural areas (1.4% for women and 35% for men) than in urban areas (0.7% for women and 24% for men),” the data adds.
Meanwhile, top health officials said that slew of measures have been taken to decrease the percentage of tobacco consumption in the UT even as they claim that percentage has started going down due to the efforts of the National Tobacco Control Programme launched by the Government.
“We have taken steps to reach out to the people and make them aware about the hazardous effects on their health,” they said, adding that the overall consumption of tobacco and cigarette smoking has declined.
Dr Mir Mushtaq, spokesperson Directorate of Health Services Kashmir said that during the year 2022-23, at least 6624 tobacco users received counselling besides that 2109 users received counselling and pharmacotherapy while 147 persons quit tobacco use.
He said that in the last four months thousands of tobacco users were counselled and hundreds have quit tobacco use.
He said that in the year 2022-23 around 8000 challans were produced and around Rs 3 lakh were collected from them.
He said that various awareness programmes have been already started to educate people about the hazards of tobacco chewing and smoking besides that officials have been directed to conduct regular enforcement drives for implementation of COTPA-2003.
Notably, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has also imposed a complete ban on the sale of loose cigarettes, loose beedis and loose tobacco while all educational institutions and tourist destinations were declared as tobacco free zones.
Pertinently, tobacco is said to be the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world. It kills approximately more than seven million globally and more than one million in India.
Notably lung cancer has been found to be the second commonest cancer. In the past few decades, the cancer catastrophe has created havoc globally, Kashmir has witnessed rise in cases of lung and breast cancers.
As per the hospital-based data from Kashmir valley males have higher incidence of lung cancer while females fall victim of breast cancers.
There is a direct relation between length of smoking and number of cigarettes smoked per day. Even if smokers quit smoking there are chances of developing cancer but these chances decrease to a greater extent, officials said. (KNO)