World No Tobacco Day: 38.2 % men in J&K are addicted to some kind of tobacco

Efforts to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use Among Young People in state via awareness campaigns are active in Jammu & Kashmir by government and non-government organizations but number of people who are consuming tobacco is increasing and this is alarming.   According to report by Danik Jagran, in Government Medical College Jammu has 50% of cancer patient who use Tobacco.

As per the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 38.2 % men in J&K are addicted to some kind of tobacco. Though the NFHS has not bifurcated smoking and smokeless tobacco use, it has been discussed in the latest Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS).  This international survey puts J&K at serial no number 6 among all states in Indian in terms of tobacco smoking. The only states which have a higher prevalence of smoking than that of J&K are five north-eastern states of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Manipur.

Although in terms of use of smokeless tobacco products (chewable), J&K is at tail end of the list, the “mammoth abuse” of tobacco has the potential to make it smoking capital of India.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently estimated that in J&K, 3,039 disability adjusted life years (DALYs) are lost to tobacco use, one of the highest among all states. The only two states, where DALYs attributable to tobacco use are higher than J&K are Mizoram and Uttrakhand.

This ICMR report titled ‘Health of Nation’s States’ makes it clear that J&K has one of the highest incidences of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

J&K features at serial no 4 in terms of most lives lost and disability due to smoking, giving rise to the questions that what are healthcare and allied systems in State doing towards bringing down the incidence of smoking.

A daily smoker from states like Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab spends around Rs 2,600 per month on cigarettes, and daily smokers from Karnataka and Delhi spends more than Rs 1,500 per month on cigarettes.

According to news report by Rediff.com , “ Jammu and Kashmir, 20.8 per cent adults smoke tobacco and 4.3 per cent use smokeless tobacco”.

Quitting tobacco is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, and your health will be better tobacco damages the heart and blood vessels very quickly, but the damage is repaired quickly for most smokers who stop smoking.

In Jammu and Kashmir there is ban on e-cigarette but at present there is no data available that hoe many people in state use e-cigarette.

Even long-time smokers can see rapid health improvements when they quit.

Read also: TIPS & TRICKS TO QUIT TOBACCO

Key facts and prevalent trends around tobacco consumption in India:

  • 34.6% of adults (out of which 47.9% is males and 20.3% is females) are smokers
  • 14% adults (out of which 24.3% males and 2.9% females) use smoking tobacco
  • 25.9% adults (out of which 32.9% males and 18.4% females) use smokeless tobacco
  • The absolute number of male smokers has grown from 79 million in 1998 to 108 million in 2015
  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2015, Government of India, among the 13 States surveyed, tobacco use among men has fallen from 50 per cent in 2005-06 to 47 per cent in 2015. At least 11 of the 13 states in the report have reported a decline in the numbers between 2005-06 and 2015-16.
  • In Sikkim, there is up to 20% dip in tobacco use. The only two states that showed increase in consumption were Manipur and Meghalaya.
  • Haryana specifically has a 32% prevalence of tobacco usage, with about 3.2 million smokers in the year 2015.
  • Smoking cessation remains uncommon as only about 5% of men aged 45-59 years are ex-smokers.

Trends in Tobacco use:

  • Cigarettes are replacing bidis, among young younger men and also illiterate men.
  • Among upper classes, cigarettes are being replaced by cigars which have a high concentration of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) that are the most potent cancer causing substances.

So, the only proven strategy to keep your heart safe from the effects of smoking is to quit. Let’s take a pledge on this day to reaffirm our commitment to reduce the menace of tobacco consumption by taking robust tobacco control measures.

[With Inputs from online reports ]