The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), Maharashtra has announced that it will take action againstácelebrities endorsing tobacco or pan masala products or surrogate advertisements.
The authorities made the announcement during an event held in the state. The event released a study done by World Health Organization (WHO) on the impact and effectiveness of legal ban on gutkha in Maharashtra.
"We will be issuing notices to Bollywood stars, who appear in the advertisements of pan masala and similar products. We want the anti-tobacco movement to be driven by the people with governmental support. At present, it is mainly driven by the government. We need a social legislation," said Dr Harshdeep Kamble, FDA commissioner.
"For the survey in Maharashtra, we had selected gutkha users from Thane and Mumbai. More than half of them have tried to stop since the ban came into place. However, during the survey we found that post-ban, 64% respondents reported purchasing ingredients separately and combining/mixing something similar to gutkha. Product ban did have an impact. Of the respondents who continue to use pre-packaged gutkha, a substantial proportion (83%) reported they consume less since the ban," said Dr Pradeep Krishnatrya of the Center of Communication.
Dr. Kamble said gutkhas were being illegally sold and the consignments were arriving into the city from the neighboring state of Gujarat.