Srinagar spends Rs 122 cr on tobacco annually

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Jan 18: A smoker in Srinagar spends more than Rs 2000 per month, while as the district Srinagar in general spends the highest sum of Rs 122 crore rupees annually on the consumption of tobacco products, reveals data presented during a function here today.
The data was presented by the experts during a function was organized by the Directorate of Health Services under National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP) emphasising on the effective implementation of the COPTA-2003.
While the district Srinagar spends a huge amount, the district that spends less on the consumption of tobacco products is Shopian which is spending 26 crore rupees annually.
The Coordinator, Tobacco Control Cell Dr Mohammad Naser, while presenting the data regarding the prevalence of the use of tobacco use in J&K said: “For the year 2009-10, there were 21.9 per cent of people who were smokers, while as for the year 2016-17, the percentage has come down to 20.8 per cent.”
He also said that as per the survey carried out by the Government Srinagar has topped the list by spending Rs 122 Crore annually, Bandipora Rs 37 Cr, Baramulla Rs 98 Cr and Pulwama Rs 55 Cr in the consumption of tobacco products. He also said that an individual in J&K spends Rs 2622 monthly as an expenditure on buying tobacco products.
The experts also said that the enforcing the COPTA has been giving them a tough time with the lack of synergy between the stakeholders who are responsible for the implementation of the act. While talking about the ban on the sale of loose cigarettes, Dr Naser said that in that domain nothing substantial has been achieved so far.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Health Services, Kashmir Dr Sameer Mattoo highlighted the works that were undertaken by the department under NTCP since they year of its inception in J&K. He talked about making AmarnathYatra tobacco free, while as also kick-starting the yellow line campaign in Srinagar.
It is pertinent to mention here that, while the J&K has been a pioneer in getting the sale of e-cigarettes banned across the region, the NTCP has so far managed in getting various institution in J&K, especially Kashmir ‘No-Smoking Zones’.
The concerned higher-ups in the Education Department, Tourism Department and the House Boat Owners Association have also issued required circulars declaring the places and building falling under their control ‘No-Smoking Zones’ while as also banning the use of tobacco in these places.