NEW DELHI: Putting an example of various states, the Union Health Ministry has urged the Uttar Pradesh government to enforce a ban on manufacture, sale and storage of gutka and pan masala products in the state.
Various states have decided to ban use and sale of gutka. So far, states of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Delhi have implemented the provision as envisaged under Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulation and put a ban manufacture and sale of products containing tobacco and nicotine in their states. Chandigarh also followed the suit and banned the sale, manufacture and storage of gutka.
In a letter to the health department in UP, the health ministry has recently asked the state to ban gutka in their state as well.
The consumption of tobacco-laced pan masala is high in UP. In Delhi alone, about 8.3 per cent population consumes gutka.
As per the figures of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), nearly 3.82 crore people consume gutka in the country. According to the experts feel that if the same restriction is replicated in other states as well, the number of cases of mouth cancer will come down drastically within five years as gutka is the main reason for the deadly cancer.
Earlier, the health ministry had issued instructions to the states against allowing use of tobacco-laced gutka or pan masala, after it was established that gutka was a food product that fell under the Prevention of Food Adultration Law.