The Delhi government today has announced ban on sale of tobacco products for one year, which will include purchase and storage of all forms of chewable, tobacco, including “guktha, pan masala, khaini and zarda”, in the national capital. This is one of biggest step taken by government to bring the change in the capital.
The Department of Food Safety issued a notification in this regard. According to the notification, unpackaged products of chewable tobacco, too, are covered under the ambit of the ban.
Notification stated that “The manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco which is either flavored, scented or mixed… and whether going by the name or form of gutka, 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.
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. Let’s see whether this change brought by Delhi Government will work or not? Notably, this is one of the biggest initiative after Odd- Even in the capital.