Chewing Tobacco Does not Comply with Legislation

June 21st, 2011 10:05

It was stated that approximately 80% of chewing cigarettes sold in England do not correspond to legislation. Various organizations together with the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed that only 15% of such products are sold with proper graphic warnings or special labeling. The majority of chewing tobacco products even does not indicate that they possess tobacco. People may consume unhealthy ingredients without knowing it.

Nataly Standford lead researcher at ASH declared that there is a need in a new regulation, which will be able to control tobacco products. “I think that we should create an audit of all products and then require their labeling in accordance with the present legislation. Thus consumers will be better informed about the product, whether it is safe or not.” Chewing tobacco is a popular form of smokeless tobacco mostly popular among South Asian communities. This product is usually imported from India and Bangladesh and possess a blend of areca nut, betel leaf various flavorings, spices and tobacco.

The most preferred products among South Asians are “gutkha” and “paan masala” that are mostly used as mouth fresheners and are available either with or without tobacco. They are sold at an affordable price and can be bought in large Asian communities. But what concerns chewing tobacco products, there are little regulations in comparison to regular tobacco. Chewing products are addictive and according to various researches there is a high probability of gum diseases, heart diseases and mouth cancer among users.

Bangladeshi tobacco

Farhana Rejwan, has been chewing tobacco for over 50 years and has tried for many time to give it up. “Now my teeth are black from all that tobacco and my gums are painful,” she said. At present Farhana is involved in a programme together with the Bangladeshi Stop Tobacco project to help her quit this dangerous habit. “I try to be always busy; because when I don’t have anything to do I chew tobacco. I chewed it all my life, so it will be very difficult to stop, but I will try.” A lot of Bangladeshi women as Farhana are addicted to chewing tobacco.

For instance in England the highest number of self-reported use of chewing tobacco in found among Bangladeshi women, constituting 19%, followed by Bangladeshi men at 9%.There are a lot of misunderstandings concerning the health risks associated with consumption of chewing tobacco products. Jabeer Butt, Chief of the Race Equality Foundation, hopes that data obtained in the course of the research will lead to improved regulation of smokeless tobacco products. “We should improve as soon as possible both conformity and observance of regulation. Also we should protect minority communities from the health risks associated with consumption of these products,” he concluded.

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