J&K tops list of adults exposed to tobacco smoking in offices

The highest proportion of 67.9 per cent of adults are exposed to tobacco smoke in offices, while the number of cigarette smokers in Jammu and Kashmir are more than double than the nationwide prevalence of 5.7 per cent. “A whopping 12 per cent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir smoke cigarette, while 3.8 per cent smoke Bidi and 8 per cent use smokeless tobacco. As many as 26.6 per cent population in Jammu and Kashmir is using tobacco product in one or the other of its form,” J&K Consultant for Tobacco Control, Voluntary Health Association of India Afzal Makhdomi today said. He said the highest proportion of 67.9 per cent of adults exposed to tobacco smoke in offices is in Jammu and Kashmir while the lowest 15.4 per cent is in Chandigarh. Meanwhile, alarmed by the rampant growth of the violations in display of point of sale (PoS) boards as tobacco companies are clearly violating Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have removed numerous tobacco advertisements promoting cigarette and other tobacco products put at display at the PoS in central Kashmir district of Budgam.”The advertisements were removed by the police personnel as these advertisements had come up at several places clearly violating the Supreme Court (SC) order against such ads,” a senior police official said. He said all the material is being seized by the police squad and shopkeepers are being warned of repercussions if found offending the law in future. Moreover, Makhdomi said research has shown that tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship increase the likelihood that people will start using the product. “Point of sale advertising is aggressively used by the tobacco industry to promote their products. There is an urgent need of effective implementation of a comprehensive ban on tobacco product advertisement, promotion and sponsorship at point of sale,” he said. Section 5 of India’s tobacco control legislation “COTPA 2003” comprehensively prohibits all kinds of tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship