Naswar sales soar in federal capital | Pakistan Today

Naswar sales soar in federal capital

The number of naswar (snuff) users in the federal capital has seen a dramatic increase. The drug, which causes deadly diseases, including oral and throat cancers, was often referred to as having been invented by the Pashtoons.
However, it was observed that apart from Pashtoons, young people from other provinces also indulge use the drug. Snuff is a black substance made of tobacco, lime and ashes. The different varieties of the drug are categorised according to the area they were made in- like Sawati, Mardani, Bannu, Naurangi and Abottabadi naswar, with numerous catch-lines, of which Yusuf Shah is perhaps the favourite.
Famous for its high quality naswar, Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu, send the product to the federal capital, Punjab and Sindh. There is a huge demand for naswar in Karachi, which has a large population of migrants from KP.
Previously, naswar was sold at Rs 5 per packet, but its price was increased to Rs 8 per packet, owing to its growing demand in the twin cities.
Many different varieties and brands of naswar are available in the twin cities, such as ‘Toor Khamar’, ‘Missile’, ‘Safarish Khan’ and ‘Lucky’. Naswar is a popular drug among all age groups, starting from 12-year olds to septuagenarians.
Many women are also addicted to naswar, but it is most popular among the youth who emulate their elders.
When asked about the history and origins of the drug, many naswar users said they had no knowledge of its background. “I do not know where this habit originated from, but I have been using naswar for the past seven years. Now I feel like I will not be able to survive without it,” said Shakil Satti, a Bhara Kahu resident purchasing naswar from an F-8 Markaz shop. Many seem to think that taking snuff is a fairly new phenomenon that died out over the last century due to the increase in the popularity of cigarettes. Snuff, however, has a rich and varied history since it was first discovered on Columbus’ second voyage to the Americas.
Snuff was popular among all social classes from the aristocracy to the miner and spread to all corners of the world from Europe to China.
Different snuff etiquettes and cultures have developed through the centuries and there have been a number of prominent snuff takers including the likes of Napolean and King Louis XIII.
Putting a naswar in his mouth, Jamil Khan, a shopkeeper said: “Tobacco has been used by human beings in different styles and methods. I think snuff is environment friendly and cheap. Tobacco is not good for health, but if someone becomes an addict, then comparatively snuff is less detrimental for health.”
He added that although naswar attracts customers irrespective of the caste, creed or province one belonged to. It is interesting to note here that Raymond Davis, the alleged murderer was also hooked on naswar when he was under trail before leaving for his country. “The dough-like narcotic is Pakistan’s best product because it has beaten the imported naswar.
“Three kinds are hot favourites among the naswar users: black naswar is a specialty of Peshawar, powdered green naswar is made in Quetta and the slightly pasty green naswar comes from Kashmir. The best naswar is made in Bannu,” said a young man.
“I tried it for fun initially but later I got addicted to it. I tried to get rid of the habit but I couldn’t,” said Kamran Khan, a resident of I-10. According to a study carried out by the University of Peshawar, the use of smokeless naswar caused cancer which could be avoided by adopting proper regulations. The study was conducted on thirty Pakistani naswar brands. Their effects on more than two hundred individuals were studied as were the varieties of toxic constituents and carcinogens such as cadmium, arsenic, lead and other carcinogenic metals, nitrite and nitrate and nicotine.
The results of the study indicated a lifetime cancer risk from cadmium and lead. Greater incidence of oral cavity and esophagus cancers were reported in individuals using naswar.
It is also pertinent to note that oral cancer attributable caused by the use of naswar accounts for 50 percent of the total oral cancer cases reported in Pakistan. Similarly, the consumption of naswar has also been correlated with higher incidence of peptic ulcer disease.
The study suggested that the production, packaging, sale and consumption of naswar should be regulated to protect the public from the health hazards associated with its consumption. According to official statistics more than 70 percent of the people in KP are naswar addicts.
According to the Pakistan Tobacco Board, there is a huge market for naswar in the province, with an estimated sales figure of about Rs 6 billion annually.
Fazal Sher, another naswar addict, when asked why he used the drug, said there was no reason for his using the drug, but now he couldn’t survive without it. Gul Khan, who has been selling naswar in Raja Bazar, said 20 years in the business had earned his product a strong recognition among the naswar users. “We use fine ingredients and the best quality tobacco. Although it is quite expensive but we still want to produce quality products to earn an edge over our competitors,” Khan said.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Dr Sharif Astori of the Polyclinic Hospital said naswar is made from fresh tobacco leaves, calcium oxide and wood ash. “The use of naswar causes lung, stomach and mouth cancers besides bronchitis, kidney, heart and other diseases,” Astori said. He was of the view that the diseases caused by naswar are more fatal than those caused by smoking. “The health department has been engaged in a fierce campaign against smoking through the print and electronic media but has failed to run a similar campaign against the use of naswar,” Astori added. He stated that a people who are addicted to snuff may face different social problems, such as boredom and frustration.



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7 Comments

  1. Malik Umer Farooq said:

    Naswar is dangerous. It is like comprising a healthy life for a fun of 3-4 minutes.

  2. f**k pakistan said:

    I love how these smelly punjabis with a pound of oil in their hair, try to make point of how Pakhtons and their habits are hazardous. Whats great is that punjabis are the only people on earth that have invented the eating of raw leafs (like goats and other herbivores). lets do a artcile about Paan and what goes in it and also how healthy is that to health conscious Pakistanis lol..what a joke.

    • gr1awan said:

      Paan is not eaten and developed by Punjabis my dear. Please note it is originated from India and specially from South India and central india. It is not Punjabis who say that naswar and cigarettes are injurious to health but it is known internationally. And when you say smelly Punjabis, everybody will laugh as it is Pathans who don't take showers for months and not Punjabis. Dirty people are in every nation and it is not contained to any language. Just go and >>>> yourself dear

  3. farmen said:

    pound oil in there hair, joke of day looool , ND i used to love nawar buh i dont take it anymore because its dangerous. no1 knows it s real side effects,

  4. laka dum dum said:

    Naswar is made for all eat to reduce tension because living in Pakistan is a tension

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