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State ranks second in tobacco use in NE

Azo Nienu (4th from L) with legislators, officials and other participants in Kohima, Tuesday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, MAY 31 (NPN):
Published on 1 Jun. 2011 12:19 AM IST
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Nagaland occupies second position in tobacco use among North Eastern states with 57%, next only to Mizoram. Disclosing this at a function marking ‘World No Tobacco Day’ here Tuesday, Kuzholuzo Azo Nienu, minister for health and family welfare said the alarming figure of tobacco menace needed to be addressed with all seriousness.
Focusing on Nagaland scenario, Kuzholuzo Nienu said that smoking prevalence in Nagaland was 32% while 45% usage was in smokeless form as per Government of India Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2009-10.
He said the gender wise prevalence of smoking in Nagaland was 49% male and 12% female; and smokeless form gender prevalence rate was 53% male and 37% female. Nienu further informed that daily use prevalence of tobacco in Nagaland was 81% in smoking form and 70% smokeless form while dual use of tobacco was 47% male and 14% female.
Calling upon all stakeholders to fight against tobacco menace, the minister said the way forward was to start with a human rights approach by protecting the vulnerable group including the poor, the young and women. He also elucidated on intervention strategies involving youth, creating smoke-free public places, strengthening health literacy on tobacco matters etc. for effective tobacco control in the state.
Since the department alone could not tackle the problem, Neinu asked stakeholders to commit further participation in the control of tobacco burdens in the state.
Delivering the keynote address on the theme “WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)” Dr. N. Savino, additional director and SNO NTCP, said FCTC was the first international treaty on public health which reaffirmed the right of all people to the highest standard of health. He stated that India joined the convention after rectifying FCTC on February 5 2004.
Dr. Savino said FCTC was a necessity since tobacco was the highest preventable cause of death, killing 5.4 million people every year. Besides other medical cases, 50% of all cancers in India are due to Tobacco use, he stated.
There were 12.7 million people in the Northeast consuming tobacco both in smoke and smokeless form out of the total 274.9 million tobacco consumers in India. He also highlighted FCTC provisions on tobacco control such as ban on smoking in public places, sales or advertisements etc.
Those who participated in the seminar included: Er. Vikho-o Yhoshü, adviser IT&C; Dr. Nicky Kire, chairman NKVIB; Shetoi, chairman NHHDC; advisor NIDC, and Azheto, advisor, Cooperation and Sericulture. The programme was chaired by Menukhol John, commissioner and secretary, Health and Family Welfare.

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