Notification banning manufacture, sale, transportation & storage to be issued today
The Delhi Government has decided to impose a complete ban on manufacture, sale, display, transportation and storage of gutka and other related products in the city.
Health Minister A. K. Walia said on Monday that the decision was taken at a high-level meeting at Delhi Secretariat and a notification to this effect will be issued on Tuesday. “Gutka and other products contain paan masala, nicotine and tobacco particles, hence are harmful. After the notification, manufacture and sale of gutka and other products will be banned. Violation will attract strict action. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Department has been authorised to collect samples and register cases against traders and manufacturers violating the ban.”
The ban is being imposed based on the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulation to prohibit addition of tobacco or nicotine to food (and thereby ban gutka), which was issued on August 1, 2011.
With this latest decision, Delhi has become the country’s 13th State to use the FSSAI regulation to ban sale and manufacture of gutka. Twelve States, including Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab, Chandigarh and Gujarat, have banned gutka and paan masala recently.
Non-government organisation Voluntary Health Association of India executive director Bhavna B. Mukhopadhyay said: “By banning gutka, the Delhi Government has demonstrated a tremendous commitment towards safeguarding the health of the people, especially youth, from the growing menace of tobacco addiction. All States should now implement the FSSAI law in the larger interest of the younger generation which is falling prey to this tobacco menace.”
She said the prevalence of tobacco use in Delhi currently is 24.3 per cent among adults (40.9 per cent of males and 3.7 per cent of females). Also 10.5 per cent adults (16.7 per cent males and 2.8 per cent females) consume smokeless tobacco like gutka, khaini, zarda and other chewing tobacco products.
According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey India, the estimated number of tobacco users in India is 274.9 million, of which 25.9 per cent are users of smokeless tobacco while 5.7 per cent are cigarette smokers and 9.2 per cent smoke bidi.
This reveals that more Indians (almost 75 per cent) consume smokeless forms of tobacco that includes paan, gutka, paan masala, khaini and mawa.