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Consumption of khaini, gutkha has gone up marginally in Maharashtra: Survey

Data from the second Global Adult Tobacco Survey reveals that khaini consumption in state increased to 15.5% in 2016-2017 from 14.5% in 2009-2010

mumbai Updated: Dec 09, 2017 14:35 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Doctors said that there are more than 40 identified carcinogens in smokeless tobacco, of which tobacco-specific nitrosamines are the most potent
Doctors said that there are more than 40 identified carcinogens in smokeless tobacco, of which tobacco-specific nitrosamines are the most potent(Representational photo/HT )

Despite the ban on sale of smokeless tobacco in the state, imposed by the Food and Drug Administration ( Maharashtra) in 2012, consumption of khaini and gutkha has increased marginally in the past seven years, revealed Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2 (GATS2).

The data revealed that khaini consumption in Maharashtra increased to 15.5% in 2016-2017 from 14.5% in 2009-2010. Similarly, consumption of gutkha increased from 8.3% to 8.6% .

Doctors said that there are more than 40 identified carcinogens in smokeless tobacco, of which tobacco-specific nitrosamines are the most potent. Public health experts blamed the increase in consumption on poor enforcement of the ban by the FDA.

“Legally, smokeless tobacco is banned but it is so poorly implemented. There is a tacit understanding between long time smokeless tobacco consumers and vendors, which makes the illegal sale easy,” said Dr PC Gupta, director, Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health. Gupta also said the increase in the prices of cigarettes, may have led to more people consuming smokeless tobacco to save money.

READ: Tobacco use among adolescents in Maharashtra has doubled in seven years: Study

Dr Sadhana Tayade, joint director, non- communicable disease, directorate of health services, said that enforcing the ban is not a priority for the police, which has made to the sale of smokeless tobacco easy. “When we go to the stalls that sell tobacco, they don’t get as intimidated as they do, when police takes action,” she said.

The GATS2 data revealed that the consumption of certain smokeless tobacco products is higher among women as compared to men. For example, the consumption of betel quid with tobacco is 3.8% in women as compared to 3.6% in men. Similarly, tobacco for oral application is 8.2% among females, compared to 1.9% in males. The consumption of snuff in women is 1.3% compared to 0.4% in men.