The Delhi government is planning to ban sale of chewing tobacco with the idea of reducing oral cancer cases. Tobacco is freely available despite ban on other unhealthy products like gutka and paan masala.
Gutka is a combination of arecanut, slaked lime, paraffin and katechu. Along with tobacco, intake of gutka is poison. The food department has already banned gutka and restricted its sales in 2012 under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003. The penalty for the violation ranges from a fine of Rs. 1,000 to three months imprisonment.
AdvertisementNow, the health department has proposed a ban on the sale of tobacco as well. Health Minister Satyendra Jain said, "The government would soon issue a new set of rules that would also make sale of chewing tobacco illegal. We want to plug the legal loopholes which were allowing sale and consumption of chewing tobacco."
The ban on gutka, which included sale, manufacture, distribution, transportation, display and storage of these products, was resulting in a revenue loss of about Rs. 50 crore annually. The proposed ban on sale of chewing tobacco is likely to add to the revenue loss to the government.