All forms of chewable tobacco products are now banned in the national capital
GN Bureau | April 15, 2016
The Delhi government has banned all forms of chewable tobacco, including gutkha, pan masala, khaini and zarda.
The sale, purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco have been banned for a year. This also includes the unpackaged chewable tobacco.
The Delhi government had issued a notification in September 2012 for a ban on 'gutkha' in the city in pursuance of a series of directions from the supreme court. The notification was about only ‘gutkha’. Tobacco retailers had started selling the components of 'gutkha' (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches, thus defeating the purpose behind the ban. That is why the health department came up with a new proposal for banning all raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi.
Delhi is following the footsteps of many other states which have banned the consumption of all forms smokeless tobacco. Assam was the first state to ban smokeless tobacco, including pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine in 2013. Though several states had imposed similar bans under the food safety regulation, Assam was the first one to impose the ban through legislature. The act, thus formed, also banned the manufacturing, advertisement, trade, storage, distribution and sale of smokeless tobacco in the state.
Noticeably, smokeless tobacco accounts for 90 percent of oral cancers. The Maharashtra government strengthened its battle against tobacco consumption by banning the manufacture, storage, and sale of all forms of chewing tobacco in the state in July 2015, for three years.
The ban was also extended to all additives of chewing tobacco, including kharra and mawa.
A study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Institute of Global Tobacco Control, WHO country officer for India and Centre for Communication and Change-India (CCC-I), in October 2015 shows that 92 percent of people surveyed in Maharashtra, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, supported the ban on tobacco products.
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