Maharashtra banned tobacco products under the Food Standards and Safety Act for the first time in 2012. For the fourth year in a row, Food and Drug Administration of Maharashtra has issued an notice to extend the ban for another year.
"In the interest of public health, manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of tobacco and areca nut (betel nut) which is either flavored, scented or mixed with any of the said additives and whether going by the name or form of gutkha, pan masala, flavored scented tobacco, flavored/scented supari, manufactured chewing tobacco with additives, kharra, mawa has been prohibited for a period of one year from July 20, 2015," said Dr Harshadeep Kamble, Food Safety Commissioner, in the notification.
He also referred to additives that include ingredients like nicotine, heavy metals, anti-caking agents, quivam, menthol, silver leaf, binders, flavors, scents, fragrances and prohibited chemicals.
"We have taken it as a mission to spread awareness about tobacco-related problems for several years now. The extension of the ban will help protect younger people from falling prey to addictions," said Dr Vinay Hazarey, dean of Government Dental College and Hospital (GDCH), Nagpur . He also complimented the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for making the ban more extensive every year despite the immense pressure on them.
Tobacco-related products are detrimental to health as it causes fatal diseases like heart attack, oral cancer, lung cancer including other respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis.