All forms of chewable tobacco stand banned for one year in Delhi, under a notification by the Department of Food Safety. The ban covers the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of pan masala, gutkha and all forms of chewable tobacco.
The ambit of the ban extends to unpackaged products of chewable tobacco.
"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.
According to health department officials, a notification was issued by Delhi government in September 2012, in pursuance of a series of directions from Supreme Court for a ban on 'gutkha' in the city.
However, since the term 'gutkha' was used in the notification, tobacco retailers started selling the components of 'gutkha' (betel nut and raw tobacco) in separate pouches, thus defeating the purpose behind the ban.
According to a senior official, the health department had therefore come up with a new proposal for banning all raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi.
The ban has been promulgated in view of the health risk it posed to consumers.