After the announcement of BAN on Gutkha the prices of all tobacco-based chewing products started soaring. A Rs.2 packet was being sold Rs.10 to Rs.20.
Today the health department officials raided many pan shops and forfeited the gutkha pouches they had. The seized pouches were destroyed.
The move to ban comes following the Supreme Court decision to include gutka and paan masala as food products. However, based on the Food Safety and Standards Act-2006, the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations-2011 (2.3.4) prohibit the sale of articles that contain nicotine and gutka as ingredients as they are injurious to health.
“The manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of gutka and paan masala containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients, by whatsoever name it is available in the market, is hereby prohibited in the state with immediate effect in the interest of public health,” said a notification from V B Patil, Food Safety Commissioner, who is in-charge of the effective implementation of the regulations under the Food Safety Act.