Today's Paper

Survey finds ban on gutka good for health of youngsters

Support for gutka ban in eight states is as high as 92 per cent and there is universal agreement (99 per cent) that gutka bans are good for the health of India’s youth.

These are the main findings of a study on the impact and effectiveness of the ban of gutka on smokeless tobacco consumption released by the Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain here on Friday.

The study was conducted by Centre for Communication and Change-India (CCC-I) in collaboration with World Health Organisation (India) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health across eight States – Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa.

In September 2012, Delhi government prohibited the sale, manufacture, distribution, transportation, display and storage of gutka. This was later stayed by the Delhi High Court.

This included pan masalas containing tobacco and/or nicotine as ingredients by whatsoever name available in the market. After ban of gutka, the manufacturers of gutka started selling their product in two separate pouches instead of one.

Mr. Jain said, “The Delhi Government prohibited the manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of all forms of smokeless tobacco products in the city.’’

He added that. “The Delhi High Court, however, has asked the state government not to take any coercive action against the petitioners to enforce the ban. We will submit these findings to the court so that necessary steps can be taken to ensure that the notification is duly implemented in the interest of public health,’’ he added.

Seema Gupta, director, Voluntary Health Association of India noted that the manufacturers have devised a subterfuge to sell gutka using twin packaging and people are purchasing tobacco and mixing it with a packet of pan masala or zarda. So therefore it is important to implement smokeless tobacco ban in Delhi.