Experts appreciate Maharashtra govt’s move to ban Gutka, Pan Masala, flavoured/scented supari

New Delhi/Mumbai, July 21: Steadfast to their commitment, Food And Drug Administration, Maharashtra State  has banned manufacture, storage, distribution, transport and sale of tobacco and areca nut (betel nut) which is either flavoured, scented or mixed with additives or whether going by name of Gutkha, pan Masala, flavoured/scented tobacco, flavoured/scented supari, manufactured chewing tobacco with additives, kharra or otherwise by whatsoever name called whether packaged or unpackaged and/or sold as one product or packaged as separate products, sold or distributed in such a manner so as to easily facilitate mixing by the consumer for its consumption.

Appreciating the Maharashtra Government, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor Tata Memorial Hospital said, “Union Minister for Health, Ashwini Choubey in a parliamentary question last week replied that Areca Nut causes cancer. FSSAI regulation mandates that every supari packet should carry a warning that it is injurious to Health. Maharashtra Government has taken the bold step to ban flavored supari and pan masala. It is unfortunate that pan masala companies are the main sponsors for cricket, film festival etc. It is blatantly advertised on TV. Celebrities such as Ajay Devgan are promoting it aggressively and this must stop.”

The World health Organization and several studies have proven beyond doubt that pan masala causes serious health hazards including mouth and throat cancers.

Sanjay Seth, Trustee, Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF), said, “The results of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017 between the age group of 15 years and above reveals that 29.6% of men, 12.8% of women and 21.4% of all adults currently use smokeless tobacco. Tobacco use is the foremost preventable cause of death and disease globally as well as in India. The consequent burden of mortality and morbidity due to consumption of smokeless tobacco is very high in India. Tobacco causes 13.5 lakh deaths every year in India.All states of India must notify the ban to save our young generation.”

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