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Bengal bans manufacture, sale of gutka, pan masala for one year from Nov 7

KOLKATA, Oct 27: The Bengal Government on Tuesday announced a ban on the manufacture and sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco for a year in the State.

The ban will come into effect on November 7. 2021. The decision has been taken keeping in mind the health of the people, a notification issued by the State Health and Family Welfare Department said. It said the sale of articles of food in which tobacco and/or nicotine are used as ingredients will be prohibited as they may be injurious to health. Tobacco and nicotine are widely used as ingredients in gutkha and pan masala.

The Commissioner of Food Safety is empowered under Section 30 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 to impose such a ban on the manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of any article of food in the entire State, the notification added.

Although tThe ban forgoes huge amounts in terms of tax revenue, the Government claims to have taken the decision in the interests of public health. Several other States too have banned production and consumption of gutka and other nicotine-containing products.

The Government banned gutka, betel spice and several other tobacco products in 2019. Earlier also the Government had banned khaini, gutka and pan masala for a year in 2013.

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