Delhi Govt Bans Sale Of All Forms Of Chewable Tobacco For 1 Year

15/04/2016 9:59 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Mansi Thapliyal / Reuters
A vendor cuts a sachet of gutka for a customer at her roadside stall in the old quarters of Delhi August 28, 2012. Ten Indian states have banned a popular form of chewing tobacco in a major policy shift that may save millions of lives and strike a blow at the global tobacco industry, already reeling from new anti-smoking laws around the world. But an estimated 65 million Indians use "gutka" - a heady form of chewing tobacco made of crushed betel nut, nicotine and laced with thousands of chemicals - and furious manufacturers are fighting to have the bans overturned. Picture taken August 28, 2012. To match INDIA-TOBACCO/. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS HEALTH SOCIETY)

NEW DELHI -- The Delhi government has banned for one year the sale, purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco, including "gutkha, pan masala, khaini and zarda", in the national capital.

The Department of Food Safety on Wednesday issued a notification in this regard.

According to the notification, unpackaged products of chewable tobacco, too, are covered under the ambit of the ban.

"The manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco which is either flavoured, scented or mixed... and whether going by the name or form of gutkha, 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 a period of one year, the notification stated.

Health department officials said a notification was issued by Delhi government in September, 2012, in pursuance of a series of directions from Supreme Court for a ban on 'gutkha' in the city.

But since the term 'gutkha' was used in that notification, tobacco retailers started selling the components of 'gutkha' (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches, thus defeating the purpose behind the ban on gutkha.

The health department had, therefore, come up with a new proposal for banning all raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi, a senior official said.

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