Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government Friday imposed a complete ban on the sale and consumption of gutka and paan masala in the state.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters that the government order was passed May 22 and the news would be passed across the state in a few days.
"Violators of the law can be imprisoned for up to six years and a fine of Rs.5 lakh will be imposed on them," Chandy said.
"A special official has been designated in each district who would be assisted by a team to see that the ban is enforced in the right manner," he said.
"One reason why we decided to come out with the ban was because of the increasing number of cases of gutka-induced ailments."
The notification banning these products has been made under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Regulation Act, 2011.
Tobacco-based gutka and paan masala is already banned in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka.