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Gutka consumption

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

– Dyes

– 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!

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