Over 26% Of 15 Plus Men Smoke Cigarettes In J&K: Survey

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National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) has revealed that 26.6 percent of men above 15-years of age smoke cigarettes in Jammu and Kashmir.

The use of tobacco is a serious public health issue in the valley as smoking is often associated with cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

According to the NFHS 5 figures, 26.6 percent of men in the age group of 15-49 smoke cigarettes. “Similarly, 3.9 percent of males smoke bidis while 2.4 smoke hookah,” the survey said.

A senior official of the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) told The Kashmir Monitor that several steps have been taken to sensitize people about the adverse effects of tobacco chewing and smoking.

“Compared to other states, our percentage is minimal. The department has launched an anti-tobacco and smoking campaign in all the districts of the Kashmir division,” he said.

Besides, directions have been issued to all the Medical Superintendents and District Health Officers of the Kashmir division for conducting regular enforcement drives for the implementation of COTPA-2003.

“Regular enforcement drives for implementation of COTPA-2003 are being conducted by the State Tobacco Control Cell in Kashmir division,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) recently banned the use of tobacco at public events during Amarnath Yatra under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA-2003).

DHSK in an official order said that to protect the health of people and enforce the tobacco control laws, tobacco use including the sale of tobacco products at all stations of Yatra is hereby prohibited and banned completely.

“Amarnath Ji Yatra is one of the largest events that is being organized every year in Kashmir with full preparation wherein estimated number of Yatris every year is around one million. To protect the health of people and enforce the tobacco control laws, Tobacco use including the sale of tobacco products at all stations of Yatra is hereby prohibited and banned completely to make this Yatra Tobacco Free,” the order said.

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