Odisha govt bans gutkha, panmasala
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government in a notification on Friday clamped a ban on the manufacture, sale and use of gutkha and panmasala containing tobacco or nicotine.
"The manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of gutkha and panmasala containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients by whatsoever name available in the market is hereby prohibited ... In the greater interest of public," the notification said.
The notification came three days after Health and Family Welfare Minister Damodar Rout announced about the move urging the people to cooperate with the government to make Odisha a "tobacco-free state."
Health Secretary P K Mohapatra said the notification banning tobacco was issued in pursuance of provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulation-2011.
Food inspectors and inspectors of police have been authorised through the notification to implement the ban in their respective areas of jurisdiction, he said.
The Supreme Court of India and different High Courts have earlier directed the state governments to impose such ban as the nicotine contained in chewing masalas caused fatal disease like cancer, official sources said.
Odisha banned gutkha products after Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab and Goa.