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Smoking Violations Surge Sixfold in Public Spaces This Year, According to Data

Public smoking violations sees six times surge this year, says data


Srinagar, Dec 25 (KNO): Violations for smoking at public places have seen an increase by six times this year so far.

As per the data accessed by the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) over 3,000 challans were produced and Rs 4,30,000 have been recovered as fine from the violators this year.

It said that 271 violations occurred in 2020-21 with Rs 18,290 realised as a fine. It was followed by 3240 challans next year with Rs 20,250 recovered as fine. Similarly, 553 challans were produced in 2022 and Rs 25,280 was recovered as fine and this year 3,123 challans were produced and Rs 4,30,000 recovered as fine so far.

It showed that 4,231 persons were counselled and sanitised in the year 2020-21 followed by 7,7670 in the year 2021-22, 10,558 in 2022-23 and 17,457 in 2023-24 so far.

Dr Mir Mushtaq, Nodal Officer, National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) for Kashmir told KNO that anti-tobacco drives are being launched regularly in all the districts in Kashmir and COTPA violators are being fined.

He said that their motive is to limit the prevalence of smoking as tobacco is putting a huge economic burden on people and it carries health hazards.

“Tobacco is is responsible for many diseases prevalent in society, particularly various cancers, cardiac diseases and many more”, he said, while putting emphasis on coordination of all departments and public cooperation to get rid of this menace.

As per the National Health Survey figures, the prevalence of tobacco in Kashmir includes Kupwara 56%, Shopian 52%, Anantnag and Bandipora 49% each, Budgam 48 %, Pulwama 44%, Ganderbal 42%, Baramulla and Kulgam 41% each and Srinagar 38%.

Pertinently, as per GATS 2 Data, 35.2% men & 5.1% women and 20.8% of all adults smoke tobacco in J&K.

As per the data, 6.8% men & 1.5% women and 4.3% of all adults currently use smokeless tobacco, 39.7% men & 6.2 % women & 23.7% of all adults either smoke tobacco or use smokeless Tobacco.

The government 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.

Tobacco is said to be the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world. It kills approximately more than seven million globally and more than one million in India.

Lung cancer has been found to be the second commonest cancer. In the past few decades, the cancer catastrophe has created havoc globally with Kashmir witnessing rise in such cases.

As per the hospital-based data from Kashmir valley, males have higher incidence of lung cancer.

There is a direct relation between length of smoking and number of cigarettes smoked per day. Even if smokers quit smoking, there are chances of developing cancer but these chances decrease to a greater extent, officials said—(KNO)

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