On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day, the Blue Ribbon campaign was launched simultaneously in Mizoram with chief minister Lal Thanhawla cutting a blue ribbon at the main function at Chanmari YMA Hall here.
Emphasising the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, Lal Thanhawla said, "Not only second-smoke, but third-hand smoke, they have discovered is more hazardous than the first hand-smoke," he said.
He said his government is planning tough anti-tobacco laws to curb the high prevalence of tobacco consumption in the state and also to prevent non-smokers from second-hand and third-hand smoke. With 67.2 per cent of the total population of a little more than ten lakh consuming tobacco, Mizoram is the heaviest tobacco-consuming state in India.
This also makes it one of the most cancer-prone states in the world. Sixty-two per cent of female population in Mizoram are consuming tobacco in various forms, against the national average of only 2.9 percent.
Meanwhile, 72.5 percent of the male population consumes tobacco. Indian Society on Tobacco & Health, Mizoram chapter president Lal Riliana, who also addressed the function, emphasised on the hazardous effects of second-smoke to others, especially to pregnant women.
She highlighted that 98 per cent of households in Mizoram are not free from second-hand smoke, and a whopping 98 percent allow people to smoke inside their houses. She called for concerted efforts to fight against tobacco menace in the state.