Nagaland recorded highest number of nasopharyngeal cancer (cancer of head and neck) patients in the country with 15.3 % males and 10.8% females carrying the disease.
This was revealed by joint director (Dental), Health and Family Welfare department, Nagaland Dr Hotokhu Chishi during the first quarterly meeting of District Level Co-ordination Committee (DLCC) on tobacco control held at District Planning and Development Board’s conference hall in Kohima on Friday.
He also informed that every year new cases of cancer have been detected with 454 recorded per year as per population based cancer survey, ICMR 2012-2014. He said two challenges – complacency or casual attitude and absence of pressure group – should be focused to control tobacco consumption.
In this connection, Dr Chishi suggested curb on tobacco cultivation, production and supply and ban on tobacco lobbyists.
Presenting the achievement of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS- 2) 2015-16, the joint director, however, stated that Nagaland has made significant achievement on the consumption of tobacco products with a decreased percentage compared to the last GATS-1 Survey report (2009-2010).
Informing that the GATS survey was conducted in four districts of Kohima, Dimapur, Phek and Peren, he said as per GATS-I and GATS-2 survey reports tobacco consumption decreased to 43.3% from 56.8%, percentage of smokers has gone down to 13.2% from 31.5%, smokeless tobacco users from 45.3% to 39.0%, dual users from 20% to 8.9%, second hand smoke exposure at home from 79.7% to 67.6% and second hand smoke exposure at work place from 32% to 23.3%.
Average monthly expenditure on cigarette (daily smokers) is Rs 689.6 to Rs 1473.9 and average monthly expenditure on bidi (daily smokers) Rs 116.3 to Rs 265.5, Dr Chishi added.
He further pointed out that Nagaland was the first state to conduct school oral health survey in 2013-14 where tobacco use in school children under the age group of 8-13 years was recorded with children with tobacco habits 28.3%, smokers 15% and buying tobacco products for parents was recorded at 41.2%.
Kohima Deputy Commissioner and chairman of DLCC Rajesh Soundararajan, who chaired the meeting, appreciated the informative presentation and urged all stakeholders to focus more on the drawbacks in order to achieve more in the future. He also asked the village headmen to check the parents in their respective colonies/wards not to send their children to buy tobacco products.
Senior dental surgeon Dr Arenla walling gave a presentation on the activities of District Tobacco Control Cell, Kohima from the month of October 2017 to March 2018.
During the meeting six schools of Kohima district were declared tobacco-free schools and awarded with certificates.