There has been a tremendous increase in the number of people who have taken to smoking in Kashmir in the past two decades. Everywhere one sees there are people taking long drags at the cigarettes. It is said that per thousand people the rate of smoking is the highest in Kashmir.
Apart from cigarettes the menace of weed smoking has also picked up in Kashmir. The unfortunate part is that the youth say it brings about a spiritual elevation in them. The shady marijuana deals are happening all over Kashmir with many areas in south Kashmir being the hotbed of the trade.
It is highly unfortunate to see students as young as 15-year-olds taking to smoking. On the Abi Guzar bund one can see many groups of students in their pre-teens enjoying the smoking rendezvous. All this happens in broad day light right under the nose of authorities.
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One must understand that smoking is a bad habit which has unimaginable consequences for the human body.The chances of having a lung cancer is higher in people who take to smoking in the early age. Besides, smoking adversely affects the fertility rate in humans. The consequences of smoking marijuana is even more adverse on both mental and physical health.
The government must impose strict ban on people who smoke in public places. The ban has to be implemented in letter and spirit. Apart from that, government must systematically organise counseling sessions for youth who are addicted to smoking marijuana.
The rate at which lung cancer is occurring is extremely high. Government needs to do all it can to discourage people from smoking. Let us hope for a smoking free Kashmir.