Cigarette smoking is not only a cause of surge in cancer patients in Jammu and Kashmir, but as per the experts, it is also one among the primary contributions to cardiac arrests in the Union Territory. With the increase in the number of smokers across the country, Jammu and Kashmir holds fourth position across India in the ranking of smoker population, which is testimony to the fact that a large number of people are puffing cigarettes every day in the Union Territory. A survey conducted by National Family Health Survey, NFHS-5 last year has mentioned that 38.3% of the male population and 3.6% of the women population in both rural and urban areas of Jammu and Kashmir consume tobacco products. Though the smoker population is less in Srinagar as per the survey, still the summer capital has 38.4 per cent of the population smoking. Despite the fact that use of tobacco is causing cardiac arrests and also cancer, the government seems reluctant to implement the orders on the ground with regard to acting against the smokers, who are found violating the norms by openly puffing cigarettes in the public places. The authorities concerned have miserably failed to start a drive against the smokers for violating the norms, but as the deaths due to smoking has been increasing, there is a need to come up with strict measures in this regard and make sure that the violations are put to an immediate end. Also, the civil society, NGOs and others have a pivotal role to play at this juncture to curb the smoker population and save the precious lives in Jammu & Kashmir.
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