Sanjholi (Rohtas) (JPN/Bureau): Rohtas district is in severe grip of tobacco addiction—which is already proving fatal for its people. Every third person in the district is dying due to drug and tobacco addiction. The menace of smoking and drug addiction common amongst youth here is ruining their youthfulness.

According to (Nasha Mukti Kendra) de-addiction centre report, 86 per cent of the young males and 43 per cent of the females between 21 to 30 years are addicted to smoking/tobacco addiction.  There is no effect of statuary warnings as one can see young students puffing cigarettes or chewing tobacco in every nook and corner of the city.

Going by the survey report, tobacco business is in full bloom in villages having population of 500 people. In these villages, over 2kgs tobacco and 600 to 700 cigarettes are sold. The rate with which tobacco and smoke addiction is growing among youth, it wouldn’t take long for this menace to prove more dangerous than terrorism unless stern steps are taken to check the use of tobacco and smoking.

One of the teachers of Tenduni, Sanjay Kumar admits that his addiction to tobacco started since class X. similarly, Priyanka another young teacher admits of being addicted to tobacco. “I don’t feel satisfied if I don’t have some tobacco,” she says.

Young Jogendra Ram, Vikas Kumar and Shambhu Prasad too are addicted to other tobacco forms.  Even after knowing that such addiction is injurious to their health, they have failed to quit the habit.

“Tobacco addiction is a serious issue,” says Vinod Sharma of Ayush Medical Association adding, “The menace has lead to the increase of lung cancer patients. Eminent cardiologist Dr Meghali says that tobacco, ‘gutkha’ and cigarette contain more than 5,000 harmful elements out of which half of them lead to lung cancer. “This also leads to other diseases like Lucoplaquia, Presivelist, Rubraploquia,” adds he.

According to a report, issued on the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day’, 35 to 40 per cent of people get into tobacco addiction to reduce their stress. However, Psychiatriast Dr Vinayak Jha says that drug addiction raises anxiety and stress disorders.

DIG here says that smoking and tobacco is prohibited in public places and is thus a punishable offence for those who do it in places like hospitals, schools and bus stands etc. “Strict directions have been issued to the police personnel to check its use. However, awareness campaigns are also required to curb the menace. Regular and timely raids are conducted,” he said and added, “In 2010, enquiry was conducted against 250 people related to cases of smoking and tobacco.”

Growing rate of addiction in district

Age        Males    Females
10-20        35    13
21-30        86    43       
31-40        75    35   
41-50        62    30       
51-60        80    29

(Source: De-addiction centre, Bikramganj)