The sale, purchase and storage of all forms of chewable tobacco, including "gutkha, pan masala, khaini and zarda" has been banned by the Delhi government for a year in the capital city.

 

According to a notification which was issued yesterday by the Department of Food Safety, unpackaged products of chewable tobacco, too, are covered under the ambit of the ban. “The manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco which is either flavoured, scented or mixed... and whether going by the name or form of gutka, pan, masala, flavoured/scented tobacco, kharra, or otherwise... whether packaged or unpackaged and/or sold as one product, or though packaged as separate products, sold or distributed in such manner so as to easily facilitate mixing by the consumer" is prohibited for a period of one year, the notification stated.

 

Health department officials said a notification was issued by Delhi government in September 2012, in pursuance of a series of directions from the Supreme Court for a ban on 'gutkha' in the city. Since the term 'gutkha' was used in that notification, tobacco retailers started selling the components of 'gutkha' (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches, thus defeating the purpose behind the ban on gutkha. The health department, therefore, came up with a new proposal banning all raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi, a senior official said.