The Gujarat government on Friday once again extended the ban on the sale, stocking, production and distribution of Gutka as well as products containing tobacco and nicotine for another year. The ban on these products was imposed by the then Chief Minister and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2012.
Nitin Patel, the health minister as well as the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, on Friday said “There is a ban on Gutka and Pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine in the state, where selling stocking, production and distribution of these products is prohibited. Keeping in mind the health of the public, the government has decided to extend the ban for one more year.”
“The prohibition is issued through the Rules and Regulations, 2011 under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. According to the rules, addition of tobacco or nicotine in any edible products is prohibited. The presence of tobacco nicotine in Gutka is injurious to health. In order to maintain the health and well-being of the citizens and the next generation, we find it imperative to ban gutka in the state,” added Patel.
Patel said that the law prohibiting selling of cigarettes and tobacco products within a hundred yard radius of educational institutes and schools is being strictly enforced in the state. “We have collected Rs eleven lakh from around 10,000 violators of this law in three years from raids carried out by the Foods and Drugs Control Authority (FDCA),” added Patel.
The then Narendra Modi government had imposed the ban on Gutka and pan masala products on September 11, 2012. Since then every year the state government has been extending the ban for a period of one year.