The Delhi health department has reissued last year’s notification to ban the production, storage, sale and purchase of all kinds of raw chewable tobacco products such as khaini, zarda, tobacco and nicotine mixed pan masala in the Capital.
A fresh notification was issued because the earlier one had lapsed. HT had reported in October last year that the previous proposal of banning raw chewable tobacco products was pending with the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) for final approval for six months.
“The updated proposal of notification is going to bring about clarity in the ambiguity of the use of all forms of chewable tobacco products. The sale of raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi henceforth will be considered illegal in keeping with the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA) and the Supreme Court directions of banning tobacco products,” said a Delhi government official.
“This notification has been finalised on the directions of health minister Satyendar Jain,” said the official.
The sale and production of gutkha, a mixture of raw tobacco and supari (betel nut), was banned in Delhi in September 2012.
“Even though gutkha was banned in 2012, retailers used to sell the components of gutkha (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches. People buy them separately, mix them, and turn it into gutkha. Therefore, the purpose of banning gutkha was not served. Then we realised we need to ban all forms of raw chewable tobacco products completely. The earlier proposal was pending because there was no government in Delhi for at least one year,” said Dr SK Arora, additional director health, Tobacco Control Programme, Delhi government.