As many as 73% policemen in Ahmedabad, India, are addicted to tobacco. Also, 50% of them have the urge to smoke or chew tobacco even in restricted areas like hospitals and multiplexes.
A combined study of Ahmedabad Dental College and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), has screened 2,761 policemen of 39 police stations, including personnel from traffic and crime branches. The survey has found that 2,016 (73%) personnel are using tobacco in some form or the other.
The survey has found that unusually long working hours and resultant stress are driving city police personnel to consume tobacco.
"Nearly 55% policemen have missing teeth, 40% have gum problems and 21% suffer from tooth decay," said Dr Mihir Shah, dean of Ahmedabad Dental College and Hospital. He was addressing a conference at a newly launched private hospital in Sola.
Dr.Shah said around 40% of those covered under the survey reported sensitivity to hot and cold food, while 33% complained of bleeding gums while brushing their teeth. Less than 30% respondents also complained of foul smell from mouth.
"Nearly 57% consume tobacco even when they are sick. About 50% also have the urge to use tobacco even in restricted areas like hospitals and multiplexes. Most of the users are consuming tobacco for more than 10 years," he said.
More than 90% policemen were advised routine scaling and polishing, while 15% were recommended gum surgery. Nearly 10% respondents were prescribed root canal treatment.