A major reason of death in underdeveloped countries including Pakistan is Mouth Cancer.Cancer of the oral cavity in Pakistan is among the highest in the world which is attributed to the local custom of chewing harmful products such as Pan,gutka,chaalia etc.These things are mostly used in Pakistan mainly by the lower socio-economic groups.The continous exposure to corrosive condiments causes abrasions of oral mucosal surface making it more susceptible for fatal strains to enter into the basal cells.
Medical experts say the incidence of oral cancer is 2-4 percent in Europe but as high as 40 percent in Indo-Pakistani subcontinent due to the usage of paan,gutka,chaalia and other related products.According to the World Helath Organisation (WHO),the use of smokeless tobbaco is a culturally accepted habit in Pakistan.
Studies from Karachi have shown that 21 percent of men and 12 percent of women use betel products(chaalia).For both men and women 7.3% use pan,6.7% chaalia,7.5% gutka,14.6% naswar,while the use of betel and chewing tobacco is 20% & 17% respectively.
The consumption of these products have harmful effects which can be fatal.The effects on health are not immediate;persistant usage may harm & have adverse effects in the long run.th.Lets have a look at the side effects of Pan,gutka,chaalia and other tobacco products:
–Mouth & Stomach Cancer:
The excessive use of these products can lead to stomach and mouth cancer.
–Fluctuation in Blood Pressure:People who use gutka regularly are likely to suffer from chest pain and high or low blood pressure.
–Oragans are affected:The parts that are extremely affected are stomach,Esophagus and mouth because it stays in these parts for hours.The harmful chemicals present in pan,gutka ,chaaliya reduces the hunger for food and causes stomach acidity.
Asthma and Other Respiratory Problems.:Some people experience wheezing & an increased breathing rate with the use of gutka.
Oral diseases and breakage of teeth:Chewing betel produces produces copious red saliva.With regular consumption of chaaliya the stains get embedded in the teeth.The colour of teeth changes to black and in the long run the teeth starts decaying.
Skin Discolouration and Difficulty in Movement:The excessive intake of these harmful products can lead to many problems like the skin colour changes and difficulty in moving certain parts of the body.
Intoxication:Frequent use of pan,gutka and chaaliya leads to intoxication.The symptoms are confusion,restlessness,dilated pupils and impaired judgement of stuff.
Cardiovascular diseases:Brain strokes are commonly found in tobacco users which either constrict blood vessels or rupture leading to loss of consciousness and paralysis.These products are also one of the cause for cardiac arrest.
Psycological Effects:Low emotional stability and risk taking behavior are more common in tobacco users.Existence of some mental disorders also increases the risk of tobacco use.
Effects on pregnancy and its outcome:
-Bleeding during pregnancy
-Premature delivery of baby
-Abnormalities of the placenta
Consumption of tobacco and related products during pregnancy leads to the child being at the risk factors for the following conditions:
-Increased Risk of allergies
-poor functioning of lungs.
-increased likelihood of obesity
-high blood pressure in childhood.
-Usage of paan gutka,chaalia and other tobacco products are associated with congenital malformations in baby like orofacial clefts,clubfoot and atrial-septal defects.