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Kohima: Gariphema village in Nagaland has been declared the country’s first “tobacco-free village”. The declaration was made by Principal Secretary R Benchilo Thong on the occasion of “World No Tobacco Day” on Saturday at the Gariphema Village Council hall near here.
It was result of an initiative taken by the Gariphema village council, Village Vision Cell and Village Students’ Union, Thong said.
A resolution was taken at the village that whoever sells alcohol and tobacco or whoever gets drunk and disturbs peace would be imposed a fine of Rs 1000 while those consuming alcohol, ‘bidi’, ‘paan’, betel nut or smokeless tobacco on the street and public places would be fined Rs 500.
Thong said Gariphema has shown a great example not only to villages in Nagaland but also to other regions of the country and urged the villagers to strictly follow the declaration.
At the programme, Deputy Director, National Tobacco Control Programme, MC Longai said 67.9 per cent men and 28.1 per cent women of Nagaland consume tobacco.
Over 2200 Indians die every day due to tobacco use and 40 per cent of all cancers in the country are caused due to tobacco use, he said, adding 90 per cent oral cancer cases were tobacco related. India has the highest number of oral cancer cases in the world, he said. (PTI)