Sinlung /
30 June 2011

Mizoram Declared Smoke-Free State


Aizawl, Jun 30
: Mizoram, which had earned a dubious distinction of being the heaviest tobacco-consuming state, was today declared a 'smoke-free' state. Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who formally made the declaration during a ceremony at the CM's office here today, described it as a great achievement and attributed it to the 22-year-long untiring efforts of the Indian Society on Tobacco Health (ISTH) Mizoram Chapter, led by wife Lal Riliani.

"The declaration of smoke-free state means that smokers are being cornered," Lal Thanhawla said.

Pointing out that passive smoking is more harmful than smoking itself, Lal Thanhawla made a fervent appeal to all smokers to give up the bad habit for the sake of their health and that of others. "If we follow the Bible, which tells us to be Holy, we can make this Christian-dominated state a totally smoke-free state," he said.

The Chief Minister was happy to see a positive trend regarding smoking in public places.

Health Minister Lalrinliana Sailo, who graced the function as the guest of honour, said that smoke-free environment will make Mizoram a better and healthier place to live in.

Chief Secretary Vanhela Pachuau gave a ppt on COPTA 2003, putting emphasis on the responsibilities of government officials in enforcing the rules.

Dr Jane R Ralte, state nodal officer for Mizoram State Tobacco Control Society (MSTCS), reported that 3,077 persons have been arrested for smoking in public places following several raids conducted during October 2008 to June 2011.

A revenue of Rs 84,503 was collected from fines, she said.

The function also saw the presence of ministers, parliamentary secretaries, MLAs and officials.


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