At the time when the nation is fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi government on 16 July extended the ban on the manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of gutkha and pan masala for one more year, press trust of India reported.
Food Safety Department of Delhi Government has been issuing a notification on the ban of gutkha and pan masala for the last four years. On 15 July, D N Singh, food safety commissioner, issued a notification stating a ban of these products. However, there is no ban on cigarettes in the city.
The notification read, “Commissioner (Food Safety), National Capital Territory of Delhi, prohibits in the interest of public health for a period of one year in NCT the manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco which is either flavored, scented or mixed with any of the said additives, and whether going by the name or form of gutkha, pan masala, flavored or scented tobacco, kharra.”
Earlier also, in the letter dated 11 May 2020, the Union minister Harsh Vardhan underlined that tobacco use is a serious threat to public health. He also stated that the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) appeal to the public not to consume and spit tobacco products at public places to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.
According to research studies, the use of tobacco products by children and youngsters may lead to oral precancerous conditions including submucous fibrosis and oral cancer. However, avoidance of this habit can reduce the incidence of oral cancer in India.