Nearly 50% gutka users lowered gutka consumption after the state-level ban

According to a recent WHO report, the state-level ban imposed on gutka consumption has actually lowered the usage of gutka, with close to 50% respondents agreeing that they have lowered the use ever since the ban was imposed.

The survey was conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) country office for India in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and involved Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Pradesh and the national capital region. During the study, 1,001 current and former gutka consumers and 458 tobacco product retailers were asked questions about gutka consumption and sale ever since the ban has been imposed.

Here are some key findings of the study:

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  1. Overall the ban received an overwhelming response with about 92 percent across jurisdictions supporting the ban
  2. 99 percent respondents agreed that gutka bans were good for the Indian youth s health
  3. Half of the respondents tried to stop using gutka last year
  4. About 80 % respondents agreed that the bans have helped people quit
  5. Respondents who haven't given up gutka completely (49 percent) noted that their consumption has reduced since the ban

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi said 'I am happy to learn that there was high degree of unanimity among respondents that the government should ban the manufacturing, sale and distribution of other forms of smokeless tobacco,' she added. Here are health hazards of gutka you must know

According to a Nata Menabde, the WHO representative to India, 'These findings have a strong message that regulatory mechanisms are effective and can have a positive impact on the consumption pattern.'

While a brighter side about the ban has been highlighted through the study, Pradeep Krishnatray, the director, research and strategic planning, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, centre for communications programmes noted a peculiar trend that has emerged with the ban. 'After the ban, most respondents reported purchasing tobacco and mixing it with a packet of pan masala with zarda (chewing tobacco). This is adversely affecting the purpose of the ban,' he said. Since a majority of India's population uses smokeless tobacco, this trend will affect the overall health of the population. (Read: Giving up the tobacco habit a cancer survivor s tale)

Expressing concern about the use of smokeless tobacco, Dr Menabde highlighted the need to do something more so that people successfully quit tobacco s use. You must also know these 7 health hazards of hookah smoking

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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