Himachal village first smoke-free hamlet

Shimla: Tashi Jong village in Himachal Pradesh`s Kangra district has earned the distinction of becoming the first "smoke-free" village in the country, an NGO claimed on Tuesday. "The state government has declared Tashi Jong, a village inhabited by 650 Tibetans of 83 refugee families, 35 adult male lamas and 250 young lama students studying Buddhism in a Buddhist institute, as `smoke-free`," Nodal Officer of the HP voluntary Health Organisation, Dr Narinder Kumar said on Tuesday.

"No person in this village smokes, uses or sells tobacco products. Fifty more panchayats are vying to achieve this distinction in the near future," he said.

Dr Kumar also underlined the role of media in creating awareness against the use of tobacco products. He said that several workshops had been organised in the rural areas to wean away people from smoking or using tobacco products.