Seeking complete ban on tobacco products in Kashmir, the Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) headed by Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan on Tuesday said that the ban on tobacco products would prevent people from getting or dying from cancer.
DAK President in a statement issued here while quoting the reports said that about 40 per cent of cancer cases occur due to consumption of tobacco products. “Ban on tobacco products would be able to prevent 40% of total cancer cases,” Dr Nisar said.
“Jammu and Kashmir (JK) has the highest number of people who smoke. The state has the highest number of passive smokers. A survey has revealed that 26.6% population in JK is using tobacco product in one or the other of its form. The average age at initiation of tobacco use is 17.3 years,” he added.
DAK president said that the highest proportion of adults (69.7%) is exposed to tobacco smoke at home. 67.9% of adults are exposed to smoke at workplaces and 35.2% of adults are exposed to tobacco smoke in public places. “The prime reason for increased use of tobacco in Kashmir is its social acceptance. JK has witnessed over 26,000 cases of cancer in last 5 years with lung cancer being the most prevalent due to high rates of smoking,” he said.
He said that after lung cancer, food-pipe, stomach and colon are the other types of cancer that have been found to have high prevalence.
“Cancer cases have swelled from 3500 in 2007 to about 7000 cancer cases registered at SKIMS alone in 2016. Not only does smoking cause cancer, but it also increases the risk of dying from heart attack and stroke. As per WHO, tobacco kills around 6 million people each year. More than five million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use and around 6 lakh are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke,” DAK president added.