Treating tobacco dependence
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Treating tobacco dependence

Post by RK News on Thursday, October 20, 2022

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The J&K Health Department has come up with a 5As and 5Rs Models of strategy to counter tobacco dependence in the valley. The 5As includes: ASK (About tobacco use), ADVISE (Tobacco users to quit), ASSESS (Readiness to quit), ASSIST (With the quit attempt), and ARRANGE (Follow up care). Similarly the 5Rs includes: RELEVANCE, RISKS, REWARDS, ROADBLOCKS, and REPETITION. Medical experts are of the opinion that 5As and 5Rs models can prove to be one affective strategy to control tobacco use. In this regard Director Health Services Kashmir has expedited the process of setting up of motivational counseling centers and reach-out to people. In the past a number of workshops, seminars, anti-tobacco campaigns and awareness programs were conducted and organized for the same purpose but that didn’t deliver satisfactory results. It is believed that tobacco use in JK is quite high. According to the Global Tobacco Survey, one in five of J&K’s people smoke i.e. 20.8%, against the national average of 10.7%. Consumption of Tobacco products including cigarettes has shown an increase over the years in the valley. Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer). From politicians to school kids, every one speaks and writes on the issue. Even if some campaigns are started, they soon run out of steam. The significance of public awareness functions or campaigns cannot be undermined. Even the debates organized at the school or college level are commendable as the youth remain most susceptible to cigarette smoking. However, mere awareness does not serve purpose. Implementation of related law becomes imperative if the menace is to be eradicated. Unfortunately, the authorities have failed to implement the ban on smoking in letter and spirit. There is a need for more concerted efforts towards effective implementation of the provisions of Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement & Regulation of Trade & Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act. Consistency is missing from most of the public interest campaigns in the UT. Anti-tobacco drives have been no different. The concerned agencies need to gear up and launch a sustained programme to encourage abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the UT. It is believed that 5As & 5Rs models would be more effective than the results of all other exercises put together. It is a policy question about the health of the people at large and if government wills a lot can be changed.


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