Nagaland’s capital Kohima was declared ‘smoke-free’ on April 29 by the Deputy Commissioner Rovilato Mor.
A campaign was initiated by the students 22 educational institutes, to raise awareness about the harmful effects of smoking. It was organized by the District Tobacco Control Cell (DTCC) and Department of Health and Family Welfare.
As part of the campaign, the students held placards, some of which read “tobacco kills us”, “Smoking is Paying Someone to Kill You” and “Say No to Tobacco and Yes to Life”. They also shouted slogans “Make Kohima, Smoke Free City” and “Breathe Healthy, Live Happy”.
In the rally that was organised, Rovilato addressed the gathering, declaring that Kohima was a smoke-free city and he would be issuing guidelines to make the city tobacco-free.
In a memorandum addressed to the DC Kohima, 20 tobacco free-schools, one college and one institution reminded that “Smoke Free” was one of the important criteria in the selection process of Smart City mission.
The Joint Director of Health & Family Welfare Department of Nagaland, Dr Hotokhu Chisi reported that the state has highest smoking population in the country, at 57 per cent. School childrens are bad exposed to the ill effects of smoking. That’s why this initiative was taken.
This is not the first time in India though. Chandigarh was declared the first smoke-free city in 2007. It was followed by Kottayam in Kerala and Shimla. In 2010, Sikkim was declared the first smoke-free state in India, and in 2014 Himachal Pradesh became the second.