Keeping upto the words, the Delhi state government has come with a full fledged ban on all kinds of chewable tobacco products with immediate effect.
The ban is covers saling, buying and even storing of all forms of chewable tobacco that includes guktha, khaini and zarda.
The Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said “We have decided to come up with a notification to ban chewable tobacco in all forms from Monday in Delhi. Under this, no one will be allowed to sell, purchase or store chewable tobacco.”
“Enforcement teams of Delhi police as well as the Health Department would conduct surprise inspections across the city to ensure that the ban is implemented, the teams have been told to be active on this,” he added.
Jain also said that however sale of cigarette is exempted from this ban. According to Health Department officials, there was a Delhi Government notification issued in September 2012 which was in pursuance of series of directions from the Supreme Court to ban gutkha in the city. But since the ban mentioned only “gutkha”, the tobacco retailers started selling the components of gutkha (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches. It defeated the purpose of banning the gutkha.
This forced the Health Department to start with a new proposal to ban all the forms of chewable tobacco products in Delhi last year. Health Department officials said ‘gutkha’ is also being supplied to retailers in Delhi from neighbouring States of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Furthermore, an innovative drive, creating a ‘Tobacco Aware Citizens’ Directory’ has also been launched by the Health Department to spread the word about the harmful effects of tobacco.