Dehradun (Uttrakhand): The Uttrakhand government has imposed a total ban on the storage, distribution, manufacture and sale of pan masala and gutka, which contain high content of nicotine and tobacco in them.

The order was issued by food safety commissioner Nitesh Kumar Jha on Friday. The ban comes into effect immediately and has been imposed for a period of one year. This decision is taken by the Trivendra Singh Rawat government after seeing the ill effects on the health of people, who chew tobacco and nicotine-based products.

The order cites the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which gives power to the state governments to impose a ban on any food product for a year in the public interest.
In its notice, the state government has explained the reason for taking such a move stating that Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has prohibited the use of tobacco and nicotine as an ingredient in any product meant for the consumption of humans, but it has been found that pan masala, gutka in the state are being sold under different name which continues to have high content of both - tobacco and nicotine. 

Earlier, Bihar had banned 12 pan masala brands containing magnesium carbonate. Accordingly, brands including Rajnigandha Pan Masala, Raj Niwas Pan Masala, Supreme Pan Parag Pan Masala, Pan Parag Pan Masala, Bahar Pan Masala, Bahubali Pan Masala, Rajshree Pan Masala, Raunak Pan Masala, Signature Pan Masala, Kamala likes include Pan Masala, Madhu Pan Masala were banned by Nitish Kumar government.

Rajasthan has also banned certain categories of pan masala and flavoured tobacco products made of magnesium, carbonate, nicotine and mineral oil. 

Maharashtra had banned the sale of pan masala and gutka in 2013 for a year and then had extended the ban period. 

(With inputs from ANI)