On World No Tobacco Day, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has sought complete ban on tobacco products in Kashmir.
President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that ban on tobacco products would prevent people from getting or dying from cancer.
According to reports, about forty percent of cancer cases occur due to consumption of tobacco products.
“Ban on tobacco products would be able to prevent 40% of total cancer cases. Jammu and Kashmir (JK) has the highest number of people who smoke. The state has the highest number of passive smokers,” the DAK President said.
Pertinently, 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.
“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,” it adds.
“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,” Dr. Hassan added.
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,” he said.
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.