Implement ban on gutka, pan masala: FSSAI

Tobacco use is the foremost preventable cause of death and disease globally as well as in India,says activist

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | October 13, 2017 | Mumbai


#supreme court   #Pankaj Chaturvedi   #nicotine   #pan masala   #gutka   #ban   #Tobacco   #health ministry  


 Food Safety Standards  Authority of India (FSSAI) has sought implementation of the ban on manufacture, sale and distribution of gutka and pan masala with tobacco and nicotine.

The Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) regulations prohibit  the use of tobacco and nicotine as ingredients in any food product.
 
The apex court had directed the authorities concerned in the state/UT's for total compliance of the ban imposed by FSSAI regulations on the manufacturing and sale of gutka and pan masala with tobacco and/or nicotine.
 
The FSSAI order on October 9 also directs the secretaries, health department of all states and UT’s to file their affidavits within four weeks on the issue of total compliance on the ban imposed on manufacturing and sale of gutka and pan masala with tobacco and or nicotine.
 
The health ministry’s special leave petition says, “to circumvent the ban on the sale of gutka, the manufacturers are selling pan masala (without tobacco) with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate sachets. Often these sachets are sold together by the same vendors from the same premises so that consumers can buy the pan masala and flavoured chewing tobacco and mix them and consume the same. Hence instead of the earlier "ready to consume mixes", chewing tobacco companies are selling gutka in twin packs to be mixed as one.”
 
The states of Bihar, Karnataka, Mizoram, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have already complied with the SC order.
 
‘“The FSSAI recent order is welcome move as it was seen in the past that only state governments/UT's were issuing necessary orders for banning manufacturing and sale of gutkha and pan masala with tobacco and/or nicotine,” says Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital and an anti-tobacco activist.
 
“Tobacco use is the foremost preventable cause of death and disease globally as well as in India. The consequent burden of mortality and morbidity due to consumption of smokeless tobacco is very high in India. Tobacco causes almost 12 lakh deaths in a year in India. Available evidence suggests that India shares the maximum burden of oral cancer in the World,” he added.
 
The result of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016- 2017 reveals  29.6%  men,12.8%  women and 21.4%   adults use smokeless tobacco. Due to initiative taken by the government like ban on certain forms of smokeless tobacco products like gutka and pan masala the number of tobacco users has reduced by about 81 lakh.
 

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