Kohima, May 31: Statistically, there has been significant decrease in overall tobacco use in Nagaland, said District Nodal Officer, NTCP Kohima Dr. Arenla Walling.
Speaking at the World No Tobacco Day 2018 here on the theme “Tobacco and heart diseases,” she said according to the recent study conducted by Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) fact sheet for Nagaland state, Nagaland’s status from being the second highest consumer of tobacco (56.8%) in the country has significantly improved and moved down to seventh rank (43.3%) in North East India and eight position in the country.
Some positive changes in Nagaland indicated the current smoking & change from 31.5% to 13.2% and current smokeless tobacco use and change from 45.37 % to 39%.
Nagaland has the highest use of pan masala with tobacco at 21%, indicating 24% men and female at 18%.
Referring to World No Tobacco Day activities in Kohima today, she said Kohima Deputy Commissioner who is also the Chairman of District Level Coordination Committee (DLCC) has issued a notification, banning sale of tobacco products today in Kohima to mark the observation of Day.
Other activities included, a walkathon was jointly organised with Kohima District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), anti-tobacco Slogan writing competition is organised in three Schools, six enforcement teams (North and South Block) went for checking under the guidelines laid down by COTPA 2003 and observance of the day in all the Tobacco Free Educational institutes.
District Tobacco Control Cell (DTCC) Kohima conducted 224 numbers of awareness programmes on “Harmful effects of tobacco & COTPA 2003” in schools, colleges and teaching Institutes. It also conducted 12 times essay, painting and slogan competition in various schools in order to spread more awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco.
45 trainings also organized for Teachers, Health Workers, Enforcement Officers, Shopkeepers, Hotel managers, Head of Educational Institutes and GBs.
17 number of community sensitization programme also organized in churches, fellowships, vacation Bible schools and youth camps.
She said enforcement officers with their squad and DTCC team organized checking which is implied under Section 4 and 6(a)(b) of COTPA 2003. Defaulters are fined and the tobacco products are confiscated.
She said Tobacco Cessation Centre (TCC) was also set up in Naga Hospital Kohima where patients are given counselling, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and Smokerlyzer device is used to test the contents of carbon monoxide among the smokers.
The patients are referred by doctors from different OPDs in the hospital, while some patients voluntarily come and seek help from the counselling centre.
Currently, there are 81 Tobacco Free educational institutes in Kohima. Besides,
Three villages- Gariphema, Jotsoma and Khonoma under Kohima district were declared as tobacco free village. 24 Dental Clinics were also declared as Tobacco Free Dental Clinics.
Speaking on the theme “Tobacco and heart disease,” Dr. Vanlalruati Nyuthe said decreasing trend of smoking is seen in educated and urban population whereas increasing trend is seen in rural and less educated population.
She said 40% of cigarette smokers will die prematurely due to smoking unless they are able to quit.
Referring to Cardiovascular diseases associated with Tobacco, Dr. Nyuthe said 20%-30% of Coronary Artery Disease are attributable to smoking.
50% of Aortic Aneurysm are attributed to smoking while 90% of Peripheral Vascular Diseases in the non-diabetic population are attributed to smoking.
She said the presence of other risk factors accentuates the undesirable effect of smoking on heart diseases.
10% of Hemorrhagic and ischemic CVA are due to smoking
Talking on benefits of smoking cessation, she said it reduces the risk of a second coronary event after 6-12 months of cessation and rates of first Myocardial Infarction (MI) and death from coronary diseases decline within the first few years of cessation.
After 15 years of abstinence, the risk of new Myocardial Infarction (MI )or death from coronary events in former smokers is similar to that for those who have never smoked, she added.
Dr. Nchumbemo Ezung, state nodal officer NCD also spoke on the occasion.
With an average of 454 new cases detected each year, Nagaland has the highest number of nasopharyngeal cancer cases in the country contributing about 15.3% of males and 10.8% of females to all the detected cases in India.
The consumption of tobacco is one of the major factors for such prevalence of this particular cancer of head and neck.
The data was presented by Dr. Hotokhu Chishi, State Nodal Officer, NTCP during the observation of ‘World No Tobacco Day’ today here at the premise of Greenwood Higher Secondary School, Kuda Village on the theme ‘tobacco and heart diseases’.
There were, however, other figures about tobacco consumption in the state that showed improvements and the most significant could be the decline of firsthand consumers of tobacco, smokers, smokeless tobacco users and dual users from an average of 38.4% as per GATS 1 figures in the year 2009-10 to 26.1% in the year 2015-16.
Secondhand smoke exposures at home and at work place at the same time dropped from 79.7% and 32% in 2009-10 to 67.6% and 23.3% respectively in the year 2015-16 while monthly expenditures on cigarettes and bidi increased from Rs. 689.60 and Rs. 116.30 to Rs. 1,473.90 and Rs. 265.50 respectively.
According to Dr. Hotokhu, the increase in the expenditure on tobacco due to increased taxation by the government has been a big reason for the decrease of tobacco consumption in the state.
Nagaland has also fared much in the prevalence rate in the last few years and dropped from having the 2nd highest prevalent rate in the country to 8th highest in the country. Still, with the prevalence rate of 43.3%, it is much above the national rate of 28.6%. Tripura which has a prevalent rate of 64.6% topped the list in the survey.
Nagaland also has the 14th highest population of smokers and 6th highest population of smokeless tobacco users in the country, and much like the prevalence rate, they are far above the national rate of 10.7% (Nagaland-13.2%) and 21.4% (Nagaland-39%) respectively.
In another survey named ‘Nagaland school oral health survey 2013-14’ conducted in 2013-14, it was found that 28.3% of all the school going children between the age of 8-13 years consume tobacco; 15% are smokers and an alarming rate of 41.2% are buying tobacco for their parents.
Dr. Hotokhu, commenting on the issue of parents asking their children to buy tobacco for them said that awareness needs to be created among parents on this.
Ajongba Imchen, Chief Judicial Magistrate & Secretary Dimapur District Legal Service Authorities (DDLSA) who was the chief guest on the occasion in his brief remark but tried to create awareness among the children of the school and others present about DDLSA and said that if anyone who needs legal help but cannot afford, the DDLSA is ever ready to help to help those free of cost and asked the attendants to be ambassadors of DDLSA and let others know about it.
Guest of Honour and CMO Dimapur Dr. Vikato Kinimi in his speech asked for support of the people in the fight against tobacco consumption and said that though National Tobacco Control Programme has recognized 107 tobacco free schools in Dimapur till now, there have been reports of shops near the school selling tobacco and it should be the student bodies and authorities now who should take actions against such practices as NTCP cannot always regulate it.
Previously, justifying the choice of selecting Greenwood Higher Secondary School as the venue among many choices, NTCP District Nodal Officer C. Tetseo said that the school has been one of the best performing schools in the state to have been recognized as a tobacco free school. (Page News Service)