Patna: Over 2.5 crore school children in Bihar on Wednesday pledged to fight consumption of tobacco which has more than half the state's population in its grip.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi administered the pledge to the students at the Gandhi maidan on Tuesday morning. Modi spoke of the harmful effects of tobacco and its products and exhorted children to convey this to their elders, including teachers if they found them smoking or consuming tobacco products at a public place.     

Modi, who attended an international conference against tobacco in New York in early October, said though the state government has imposed ban against gutkha in May this year it had not been very effective.

A solution to the problem could be found through vigorous campaign against tobacco, he said, adding, November 7 would henceforth be observed as 'Pratigya diwas' in the state to make children pledge against smoking cigarette or any other tobacco products.

According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 53.5 per cent of Bihar's population consumes tobacco or its products. Of them 66 per cent were men. Bihar has the highest number of consumers of tobacco and its products among the bigger states and sixth in the country after five smaller states including Mizoram, Manipur and Meghalaya of the Northeast, Modi added.



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