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Kejriwal government to ban raw chewable tobacco products soon

Delhi(PTI): The Delhi government has decided to come up with a notification to ban the storage, sale and purchase of all kinds of raw chewable tobacco products such as gutkha, khaini and zarda in the national capital.

The Health Minister Satyendra Jain has taken an initiative for banning all raw chewable products in Delhi for which a proposal has been finalised and notification will be issued soon, said a senior Delhi government official. “Basically there was a Delhi government notification in September 2012 which was in pursuance of series of directions from Supreme Court to ban gutkha in the city.

“But since the ban mentioned the term gutka, the tobacco retailers started selling the components of gutkha (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches. So, the purpose of banning gutkha was not served,” said the official.

Therefore, the health department last year started with a new proposal to ban all the raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi. The proposal has been approved by Jain and soon a notification in this regard will be issued. “The idea is to update the notification and remove ambiguities to ensure that biggest source of oral cancer disappears and the city becomes a tobacco-free city,” the official said.

According to officials, gutka is also being supplied to retailers in Delhi from neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The last day of every month has been declared as a dry day for tobacco by the Delhi government.

Stepping up its efforts towards tobacco control, the health department has also launched an innovative drive, creating a ‘Tobacco Aware Citizens’ Directory’ to spread the word about its harmful effects.