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The Delhi government has put a ban on the sale and purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco in the capital for a period of one year. This ban includes gutka, pan masala, khaini and zarda. A notification on this was issued on Wednesday by the department of food safety.
The notification also bans unpacked products of chewable tobacco, too. It reads, “The manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco which is either flavoured, scented or mixed… and whether going by the name or form of gutka, pan, masala, flavoured/scented tobacco, kharra, or otherwise… whether packaged or unpackaged and/or sold as one product, or though packaged as separate products, sold or distributed in such manner so as to easily facilitate mixing by the consumer” is prohibited for one year.
States where chewable tobacco is already banned
Madhya Pradesh and Kerala banned chewable tobacco in 2012. In July 2015, Maharashtra had banned the sale, purchase, and storage of chewable tobacco products for one year. Punjab government also ordered a ban on the manufacturing of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like ‘gutkha’ and ‘pan masala’ in the state in January.
In 2004, the World Health Organization had classified areca or betel nut as carcinogenic to humans even without the addition of tobacco to it.
We welcomes this ban by the Delhi Government and hopes that other states follow the suit.