On May 24, my brother-in-law a young and unmarried person namely Abdul Saboor Memon died of cancer as he was using Gutkas like thousands of residents of Karachi for the last many years. This is not the only example of such type of death. Hundreds of people are dying by using dangerous and health injurious Gutkas every month. Despite the ban on sale of Gutkas, the lucrative business is flourishing in country in general and Karachi in particular. The present government, like previous government is earning huge money through taxes on its import. In other words, under the patronage and nose of the present as well as previous governments, death is dancing in the name of Gutkas. Nonetheless, centuries old business of petal leaves was replaced by "Gutkas" that were less harmful. Despite ban in Karachi, there are hundreds of shops in Kharadar, Keamari, Saddar, Nazimabad, Akhter Colony, Landhi, Korangi, Banaras, Shershah and New Karachi where it is freely sold to the consumers under cover of police. As per some shopkeepers, the police inform them in advance when raid is expected. One shopkeeper said, besides Gutkas once you get hooked onto 'Choru (a special kind that is highly addictive), it is impossible to get rid of it, and an addict would do anything even beg or steal to buy this Gutkas, leaving hashish is possible, but not 'Choru Gutka. Ziauddin Medical University Hospital Consultant Physician and Associate Professor of Medicine Dr Sohail Ashraf had said that the common diseases caused by Gutkas are caners including lung cancer, gum caner, tongue cancer, cheek cancer, lip cancer and increased acidity inside the stomach. It consists of betel nuts, choona, kattha, tobacco, ispaghol and sometimes a touch of opium, he explained. The Gutkas is generally available in three and six rupees packets of the commodity and a man consumes around 25 to 30 rupees "Gutkas" per day. As per reports in press, 45,000 kgs of chewing tobacco, commonly known as Gutkas is being marketed daily in Karachi. The paper further reported that the Govt. has permitted imports because the revenues from Gutkas sales is too great. The fact is it is registered as an important import item from countries like India and Indonesia. I suggest the Health Department in Sindh government to extensively advertise in print as well as electronic media telling the public about the adverse affects of Gutkas causing cancer. I hereby appeal to the President Asif Ali Zardari to order complete ban on import, sales and distribution of Gutkas and save lives of hundreds of innocent people from dying every month. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, Karachi, May 30.