KARACHI    -     More than 90 percent of oral cancer cases reported at hospitals across the country are linked to tobacco use, says Prof S.M. Tariq Rafi, vice chancellor of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University.

Addressing an awareness session on oral health, organized for the Karachi traffic police officials, he said the harmful effects of tobacco abuse can take up to 20 to 25 years to manifest its deadly implications.

Dr Marium Azfar, in-charge Community Dentistry programme at Jinnah Sindh Medical University, supplementing her senior colleagues said chewing of harmful substances lead to minor gum diseases in the initial phase which but gradually lead to cancers.

She stressed upon the need for individual responsibility in spreading awareness of the harmful effects of chewing substances like tobacco, betel leaf, gutka, and niswar, etc.

The SSP - Traffic (South), Dr Asad Ejaz Malhi on the occasion acknowledged that lack of awareness regarding the deadly effects of chewing betel leaf, gutka, betel nut and other substances has put a large portion of population at high risk. He thanked the university for arranging the awareness session and urged the cops to adopt healthy habits.

The session organized by JSMU Student Council in collaboration with the Department of Community Dentistry also included oral checkups of the traffic police staff. Dean, Sindh Institute of Oral Health Sciences, Professor Kefi Iqbal and its principal, Prof Dr. Zubair Abbasi also spoke on the occasion.