Women in Peshawar irked by men spitting in public places


PESHAWAR: The lack of awareness and health hazards about spitting have irked the women as well as health experts across the city.

A survey was conducted on social media networking website Facebook in which women from the city were asked about their experiences with spit in public places and how to stop them?

80% of the women said they had bad experiences with people spitting and believed that the government needs to impose fine and punishment and public spittoons should be set up in every corner of the street.

“We are excited about the upcoming Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project but we know same problem will be there that the men will spit in the newly purchased buses and we will feel gross”, wrote Ayesha Munir, a teacher at private school in Peshawar.

Another nutritionist from Lady Reading Hospital Hira Tahir wrote “I’m hell irritated from this practice that mostly people do, I feel like shouting at them on the spot. Infact, in my OPD, when my patients or attendants do it, I immediately tell them to clean it yourself right now”.

The working ladies and housewives stressed that the only way to stop this mess is to educate the people and spread awareness about the side effects of spitting in schools and universities. They also said that the other way one can stop them is through motivation and inspiration by little acts.

A report of 2016 suggested that more than 70% people of KP are in habit of chewing Naswar which shows more than spitting saliva, spitting naswar is a common practice in KP.

The experts on environment expressed dismal over this practice while saying that it’s a centuries-old practice which may take a decade to change.

“No matter how educated a person is, he will spit the mess out of him when he finds himself alone in a public place because he has seen his elders do so”, said Hisbullah, Professor at Environment Department Peshawar University.

He urged the government to bring on proper legislation which is the need of the time, “There should be a law against spitting in Public places and those who don’t follow should be fined heavily.”

“I spit because I’m a chain smoker and my mouth gets that intangible feeling and urge to spit therefore I do”, said 29-year-old Muhammad Rahim who has recently got back from United Kingdom.

Muhammad maintained he can’t help it as there are no trash bins installed at the public places.

Expressing grave concern over this habit, a medical specialist from Quwait Hospital Peshawar Dr. Farid said that spitting also known as droplet infection contains a variety of diseases.

“Germs like Common flu, influenza, tuberculosis, mycoplasma, whooping cough and other contagious diseases are mainly spread by spitting in the public places and people are unaware of it”, he maintained.

He stressed the need of awareness among the men and women by saying that not just the men but women too spit on the new born babies so that they can protect them from evil eyes so this is lack of education and awareness.

In this regard, a few Psychologists in the city were contacted as to find out the prime reasons of spitting. Psychologist Dr. Sehrish Ghani from Fauji Foundation Hospital Peshawar told that every emotional response serve a purpose. They help us to make decisions and take action.

“Spitting is viewed as a sub-genre of litter. Generally people spit for three most significant reasons i.e. chewing tobacco, smoking and distaste for swallowing.” Sehrish added some might practise it as a “socially responsive spitting” i.e. spitting when no one is around. It might be considered as an aggressive or contemptuous display. It also expresses a fearless attitude of disdain, condescension, or disregard.

Another psychologist from Psychology Department Peshawar who asked for anonymity said that said that the reasons for spitting can be drug addiction, it shows how people are so much addicted to smoking and drugs.

She maintained like Freud says, if there is dissatisfaction in Oral stage, chances are high to be involved in such acts. Then there is somatic disorder; to be involved in some physical acts to resolve the conflicts. If there is stress and frustration, people may spit to control their anxiety.

It is pertinent to mention that the Factories Act, 1934 Pakistan was the only act where it was mentioned that whoever spits shall be punishable with a fine not exceeding Rs.02 however no other law has ever been made to impose fine on spitting.

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