Kerala CM writes to PM for a country-wide gutkha ban
Continuing his efforts for the cause of tobacco control in Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a country-wide ban on gutkha.
In a fervent appeal, Mr Chandy has requested the Prime Minister to 'ban gutkha products containing tobacco and nicotine in all states of the country. By doing so, India will not only be able to save millions of children and youth - our productive resources of the future - but also send a clear signal of our commitment to public health.' Thanking the Prime Minister for his leadership in banning gutkha in 14 states of India, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh, Mr Chandy wrote, "This is a momentous achievement as we have successfully crossed the half-way mark, and have only 14 more states and 6 Union Territories to address." Mr Chandy has also informed the Prime Minister of the fact that Kerala was the second state in the country to ban pan masala and gutkha containing tobacco products under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulation, 2011.
Rule 2.3.4 of the regulation states, 'Product not to contain any substance which may be injurious to health: Tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products.' The Kerala Chief Minister further wrote that a country-wide ban on the product will 'stop smuggling of gutkha from those states which have not banned gutkha to those states which have banned gutkha.'