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Monday, July 22, 2013

State bans flavoured supari and khaini Gutka, Pan Masala Stay On Ban List

 Taking off from its tough stand on gutka and pan masala, the Maharashtra government has banned the sale and manufacture of processed tobacco and flavoured betel nut (supari) in the state. 

    The administration issued a notification on July 18 extending for a year the ban on gutka and pan masala, which was first put in place last July. In the same notice, the state expanded the embargo. From now on, it will be a violation of rules to add khaini (flavoured tobacco), supari (processed betel nut) and maava or kharra (a mix of processed tobacco, betel nut and lime) to a paan. 
    "Tobacco products are injurious to health. The new 
ban is to curb the sale of these products," said minister of state for food and drug administration Satej Patil. 
    The ban, which would be 
in force for a year, does not apply to unprocessed betel nut and tobacco. This is so because the two are not "consumed in large quantity" in raw form, said food and drug administration commissioner Mahesh Zagade. 
    In 2004, the World Health Organization had classified 
areca or betel nut as carcinogenic to humans even without the addition of tobacco to it. "Tobacco can be made more attractive for a wider section of the population, including kids, by flavouring and scenting it or by mixing additives with it. Hence, the revised ban," Zagade said. 
    Asked about the availability of gutka and pan masala in the state despite the ban, Zagade said: "The department's aim is to have a complete ban on these products. We never claimed we have fully achieved the goal. But, certainly, our efforts have yielded good results." 
    According to the FDA, it has seized gutka and pan masala worth Rs 20.7 crore in the last one year. "Of the total, material worth Rs 13.5 crore was destroyed. The remaining is being destroyed," Patil said. "FIRs have been filed in 391 cases, and 437 cases are in different courts in the state." 

INJURIOUS TO HEALTH 
Like tobacco, areca or betel nut is a psychostimulant, an addictive substance or carcinogen 
Betel nuts contain N-nitroso compounds that convert into alkaloids, which can cause cancer 
The World Health Organization classifies betel nut as a Group 1 human carcinogen 
Experts from Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, say there is sufficient evidence to show that sustained intake of betel nut increases risk of submucus fibrosis (precancerous oral lesion), cancers of oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus 
Studies have shown a link between supari chewing and cancers of the liver, stomach and lung 
Its use is associated with diabetes, obesity, several metabolic disorders, causation of certain psychological disorders, hypertension and ischemic heart disease 
Its use also adversely affects reproductive health in women and foetus 

CHEW ON THIS 
STATE BAN Gutka and pan masala, flavoured and scented tobacco, scented supari, kharra and similar products 
MAX PENALTY Sale and manufacture of the banned products can attract up to 25,000 and life imprisonment





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