Chandigarh, Punjab: Following the footsteps of Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, Punjab is all set to be the fifth state in country to impose ban on sale of gutkha and pan masala.
Punjab director (health services) Dr JP Singh said a notification regarding the ban will be issued in a few days.
In order to make up the loss of revenue on account of the ban of these two products, the department had written to excise department to increase taxes on certain other tobacco products.
The state cancer cell is the process of formulating a policy on banning gutkha. Cell programme officer and assistant director (health) Dr Rakesh K Gupta said, “We will impose a complete ban on manufacture, sale, storage and distribution of gutkha and pan masala.”
He further said, “As gutkha and pan masala fall under the category of ffood products, anything which containes tobacco can be banned under Food Safety and Standards (Regulation) Act, 2011.”
The state government is being assisted by doctors of the school of public health and department of community medicine of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh in overcoming any such hurdles that could come in way of enforcing the ban.
As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2009-10, 12% people in Punjab consume tobacco and 6.5% adults chew tobacco products.
Source: Punjab Newsline