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 JK

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As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS- 2) data it has come to fore 35.2 percent men and 5.1 percent women and 20.8 percent of all adults currently smoke Tobacco in JK.

As per data, 6.8 percent  men , 1.5 percent women  and 4.3 percent of all adults currently use smokeless tobacco,  while 39.7 percent men and  6.2 percent  women and  23.7 percent 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 the 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 years thousands of tobacco users were counselled and hundreds have quitted 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 further 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.

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