Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government today banned production, possession, distribution and sale of tobacco products such as pan masala and gutka in the state.
Some states, including Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, have already banned sale of pan masala and gutka.
Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa referred to Supreme Court`s remarks in a case pending before it, seeking to know the action taken by state governments in controlling usage of tobacco and announced the government`s decision.
She also referred to her government`s notification on November 19, 2011, to ban the use of tobacco under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, for five years, on which the Supreme Court ruled that the Centre alone had the powers to issue such notifications.
Jayalalithaa said her government had constituted a separate department `Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Medical Administration,` after the Centre announced the Food Safety and Standards Act.