Kohima: ‘Tobacco Free School’ to ‘Tobacco Free Home Campaign’ has been launched in Nagaland today. The campaign was launched at Little Flower Higher Secondary School in Kohima with Y Kikheto Sema, IAS, Commissioner & Secretary, Health & Family Welfare as the special guest.
“The Tobacco Free Home Campaign is historic because this launching is the first in the country and the world, Little Flower School is chosen as the venue because it is an all-girls school and it is one of the best well-known schools in the whole state and that the girls are always effective, efficient as an agent of changes and women handle crisis better than men and women are the key to sustainable development and quality of life in the family,” he said.
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Addressing the gathering, Y Kikheto Sema, elaborated on the dangerous effects of tobacco that it is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the world.
In Nagaland, 700 new cancer cases are registered and 43% of children between the age of 13 to 15 are tobacco users. He mentioned that there are 356 Tobacco Free Schools in Nagaland out of 2684 schools in Nagaland, therefore the government has declared all educational institutions, both government and private, in Nagaland as Tobacco Free Zone with effect from May 1, 2023, and also all government hospitals, health care centres, health offices including directorate of Health & Family Welfare has been declared as Tobacco Free Zone on January 23, 2023 and next all government, public offices and institutions will follow.
Stressing the objectives of the Tobacco Free Home Campaign, he said that when an educational institutions become tobacco-free, they have the required knowledge to create awareness in their homes, students especially girls can motivate their parents and siblings that their health is vital and being free of tobacco use is one way of attaining good health and if every student of tobacco-free schools takes part in this campaign, there is a huge potential to transform thousands of homes, when awareness is created in every home it will bring about huge impact on the overall behavior of the citizens.
He also encouraged the school by saying that if Little Flower Higher Secondary School can make these initiatives successful, it will become a role model for thousands of schools in the state, country, and around the world to follow.
Dr. Chiekroshuyi Tetseo, Additional Director, DH&FW, in his keynote address, said that children are exposed to the influence of tobacco from home through their parents so the whole idea of this campaign is to let the children go back home and let their parents know the ill effects of tobacco usage.
Tobacco Free Home certificates were also given to parents of the students for achieving the status of Tobacco Free Home under the initiative of State Tobacco Control Cell, National Tobacco Control Programme, Nagaland by the special guest.