Feb 11 2011
In a state where more than half of the population smokes, the Mizoram government Friday intensified its efforts to make the state a ‘smoking-free’ zone.Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said: ‘The state is slowly moving towards becoming a smoking-free state.’ According to state government records, Mizoram topped the country eight years ago in the consumption of tobacco.
‘The state government is giving its all out support to the anti-tobacco organisations and activists to strictly enforce the Control of Tobacco Products Act in the state,’ the chief Minister said after distributing prizes of song-writing competition against tobacco consumption.
‘Few activists had started an anti-tobacco campaign in Mizoram around 20 years back. During those days, the anti-tobacco activists were laughed upon and people used to mock them. Now, their tireless efforts have begun producing positive results,’ he said.
Mizos in Mizoram are traditionally heavy smokers of different types of tobacco which cause numerous kinds of tobacco-related diseases. A recent survey revealed that 55 percent of the state’s population were smokers.
‘The survey revealed that as much as 73.1 percent of the smokers wanted to quit smoking as they felt that smoking is the cause of many diseases, including cancer,’ said Jane R. Ralte, state nodal officer-cum-project officer of Mizoram State Tobacco Control Society (MSTCS).
At least 84.2 percent people admitted that their expenditure on tobacco use was a financial burden, the survey report said.