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Q-6:  When I was 9 years old, my mother died of mouth cancer. She was addicted to gutka. It was very painful for a child to I spend her childhood without mother. We were three, one brother and two sisters. My father got married to my maternal aunt for us. She took care of us like our mother. But she also used gutka and chalia. Now, I am 17 years old but still remembered the time of my mother dying with mouth cancer. I tried to convince my step mother (Khala) not to use gutka because my mother (her sister) died of that. She always says that every body has to die one day and no one will die before the right time of his/her death. My mother and her sister died because she had to die. She is not ready to accept the hazardous of gutka. She is very loving for all of us and I do not want to loose my mother again. Please help me Rizwana-Karachi

A: Sweet Rizwana, you are lucky to have a good step mother plus lovely aunt. You experienced a trauma in your childhood that was indeed a great lose for all of you. You fear that your mother will die like your real mother. No doubt, use of gutka is a cause of mouth cancer and number of cases has been reported yet. Your mother would have seen people using gutka who did not report any problem. Therefore, she thinks that not all gutka users can suffer from mouth cancer and other diseases. You talk to your father and other reliable person of your family regarding that. You should have solid information highlighting pernicious effects of gutka, paan and chalia and then discuss with your mother in front of other family members. You tell her variety of adverse effects of gutka use instead of merely focusing on mouth cancer and mother's death. But remember one thing that it would not be easy for your mother to quit gutka in few days. It can take her months to quit it forever. If she eats gutka three times a day, then request her to use gutka two times a day, after one four days one time a day. The time comes when she will quit it. You can also consult a professional working in the field of drug addiction in Karachi city. DFN

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