Anti smoking law

by Ricky Anand

In 2009, the government of J&K passed a law prohibiting smoking at public places. Similarly in 2017, a complete ban was imposed on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in the valley.  Unfortunately, these laws not only failed to dissuade people from smoking, but have increased the number of smokers. According to many researches there are more than two in every five adult males and one in every five adult females in the UT who use tobacco and tobacco related material. Interestingly, the UT has highest number of passive smokers. Many health experts are of the opinion that if smoking is not curbed it can have dire consequences for the people in general and for smokers in particular. Although the tobacco usage in the J&K is lower than the national average but still the UT is leading other states in the regional context. It looks that all the measures taken by the government and health department to prevent the usage of tobacco has failed. The question remains how serious the government is in implementing the law when it earns in crores as tax on the import of tobacco and other products. So far we have tried everything possible to get rid of this problem. The measures like statutory warning on the cigarette packs and awareness programmes have not yield desirous results. If this menace has to be arrested, we have to move beyond the conventional wisdom. We tried anything from law to awareness campaign. However the problem persisted. From a health point of view smoking has many side effects from heart to hypertension which have their origin in smoking. Despite the negative consequences of smoking, most people continue to smoke because tobacco contains nicotine, a tiny, fat-soluble molecule that creates pleasurable psychoactive effects and is extremely addictive. Nicotine is considered responsible for the high rates of tobacco dependence and addiction, while the other chemicals and compounds are responsible for the negative health effects associated with smoking. Now if we have to get rid of this growing problem we have to frame programmes which not only focus on the physical aspect of the smoker but also on its psychology. There is a need to introduce those programmes which address smoker’s psychology. The smoking may be a physical act, but the demand is psychological.

Health Lifestyle