A gutka consumer is 400 times more likely than a normal person to develop oral cancer. And implementation of the ban on the product is near impossible when many Karachi police officials are already habitual users.
* This week the Karachi police have been dealing with yet another problem:
* cops on duty who chew gutka!
* Gutka consumption is a great health risk across South Asia
* By one estimate its users are 400 times more likely
* than the average person to develop oral cancer
* The product itself is fairly recent: only a few decades old
* It often consists of a mixture of
– Chewing tobacco
– Areca nut
– Paraffin wax
– And slaked lime!
* One major factor that leads to high gutka consumption
* in South Asia is its low cost
* It is often cheaper than even chewing gum
* That’s why children are particularly at risk
* due to unregulated sale of gutka
* Moreover, since it does not involve smoking
* but oral consumption, users often wrongly assume
* that it is less harmful than cigarettes
* Medical professionals, however, claim the exact opposite!
* Aside from the huge risk of oral cancer,
* gutka consumption can also cause oral submucous fibrosis
* The mouth becomes afflicted with fibrous bands
* and the ability to open the mouth declines
* In the worst cases, only a drinking straw
* can be let in through the mouth
* Judicial and law enforcement authorities have been struggling
* to contain the gutka consumption problem
* across Pakistan and India
* However, as the gutka problem in Karachi’s police force shows,
* we are far from successful!