Maharashtra bans storage, manufacture & sale of all forms of chewable tobacco

After banning gutka, Maharashtra state government is all set to step up its anti-tobacco campaign. It has now banned the manufacture, storage and sale of all chewable forms of tobacco for a period of one year. The ban has also been extended to additives of chewing tobacco including kharra and mawa.

The notifications dated 15 July 2014 says that 'Commissioner of Food Safety in Maharashtra had prohibited for one year, the manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of tobacco and areca nut ( beetelnut ) which is either flavoured, scented or mixed with any of the said additives, and whether going by the name or form of gutka, pan masala, flavoured/scented tobacco, flavoured/scented supari, kharra, or otherwise by whatsoever name called, whether packaged or unpackaged and/ or sold as one product or though packaged as separate products, sold or distributed in such a manner so as to easily facilitate mixing by the consumer.'

' Flavoured/Scented tobacco is not available freely in the market due to above prohibition order and therefore it is noticed that the consumption of Manufactured chewing tobacco with additives is on the rise and this Manufactured Chewing tobacco which is not scented/flavoured is also available in very attractive packets/sachets and it is being marketed and advertised very aggressively and in alluring manner because of which mainly youngsters and others are attracted towards it. This Manufactured chewing tobacco is often mixed with areca nut and is consumed, thus leading to increase in its consumption which again gives rise to serious health hazards. Therefore along with Gutka/Pan masala, Scented/flavoured tobacco and scented flavoured areca nuts, such Manufactured chewing Tobacco with additives should also be prohibited'

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The notification also pointed out the harmful effects f chewing tobacco, areca nut, several additives often found in gutka and pan masala. The effects include acute Hyper magnesia, cardiac arrest, oral sub mucous fibrosis, oral cancer, leukoplakia, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, metabolic abnormalities, reproductive health, Gastro intestinal and respiratory diseases.

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