Tobacco advertising, in direct or indirect form boosts consumption, as per the Report of the Tobacco Control in India (2004).
There are independent studies that have been conducted to determine the impact of advertising and promotion of tobacco products on the consumption of these products by Indians. Evidence suggests that exposure to promotional activities for tobacco leads to initiation and progression of tobacco use.
Research also corroborates that exposure to tobacco advertisements and receptivity to tobacco marketing are significantly related to increased tobacco use among students. Further, tobacco use in Indian movies has been independently associated with ever tobacco use among adolescents in India. Brief of the key studies on impact of advertising and promotion on youth uptake is annexed.
Section 5 of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA, 2003), prohibits all direct and indirect advertisements of the tobacco products. The said prohibition also extends to any activity that promotes the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products.
The advertisement of Pan Masala is regulated by section 30 of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, issued under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which states that every package of Pan Masala and advertisement relating thereto, shall carry the warning, "Chewing of Pan Masala is injurious to health".
Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 dated 1st August 2011, issued under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 by the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), lays down that tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products.
Therefore, Gutkha is a prohibited product, under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 dated 1st August 2011, issued under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and hence its advertisement is also prohibited.