World no to­b­bacco day

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - SIDRA NASEER

On 31st May, the World No-to­bacco Day is cel­e­brated ev­ery year. Main pur­pose is to dis­cour­age its us­age which is in­creas­ing day by day. To­bacco in­cludes cig­a­rette, shee­sha, paan, chhalia, gutka, niswar etc. Head and neck can­cers are ram­pant in Pak­istan. Eight pinches of niswar are equal to seven cig­a­rettes. Reg­u­lar use of Niswar re­sults in oral cav­ity can­cer.

Elec­tronic smok­ing is also com­mon in Pak­istan. Ac­cord­ing to sur­vey, al­most one hun­dred thou­sand get into smok­ing ad­dic­tion in a year. Also use of Chhalia causes oral cav­ity can­cer. They share a com­mon risk fac­tor pro­file in­clud­ing reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of prod­ucts of be­tel, areca and to­bacco. Use of paan, chhalia, gutka, niswar and tum­baku is ac­cept­able in Pak­istan and is con­sid­ered a nor­mal cul­tural prac­tice. So­cio-de­mo­graphic fac­tors for the con­sump­tion of paan, chhalia, gutka, niswar and tum­baku are found in Pak­istani pop­u­la­tion. High risk be­hav­iour was de­fined for daily use of any of the above prod­ucts.

Daily use of all the sub­stances ex­cept chaalia is higher among males com­pared to fe­males. Chaalia use is higher among ado­les­cents than adults while non-mar­ried con­sume both chaalia and gutka more than mar­ried. Mo­ha­jir eth­nic­ity had higher preva­lence of paan, gutka and tum­baku, while Pathans had higher preva­lence of niswar use. Preva­lence of use of chew­able prod­ucts is high in Pak­istan with par­tic­u­larly high use of cer­tain sub­stances re­lated with so­cio-de­mo­graphic pro­files. In­dus­tri­ally pre­pared prod­ucts, chhalia and gutka, are gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among youth. Poli­cies and fo­cused in­ter­ven­tions can be de­vel­oped tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the pre­ferred use of prod­ucts among dif­fer­ent so­cio-de­mo­graphic groups. —Via email

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