Chhattisgarh government is finally contemplating a complete ban on sale of edible tobacco, including the popular tobacco laced toothpaste, gudakhu. This is considered to be the major cause behind the rising number of oral cancers in the state.
The government has imposed a complete ban on sale and storage of tobacco laced gutka and pan masala way back in 2012 but it has ignored gudakhu, despite its known harmful effects. Its ban has raised several criticism but the government now contemplating a ban on it, means a victory for anti-tobacco activists in the state.
According to information, state health and family welfare minister, Ajay Chandrakar, during a meeting with senior department officials, has directed them to prepare an action plan for prohibiting sale of all kinds of edible tobaccos.
Ravi Prakash Gupta, food and drug administration controller, said, "work has started, as per the minister's direction and ban would soon be imposed on all edible tobacco, including gudakhu, zarda and khaini."
The use of the edible tobacco has also led to more blindness cases than oral cancers in the state. As per survey report conducted in all the districts under Comprehensive Eye Care Project abuse of tobacco and gudakhu was the main reason for blindness among 50% of the 747 blind people in state.