AAP govt will pursue steps to enforce ban on chewable tobacco, says Jain
In <g data-gr-id="52">a latest</g> study on <g data-gr-id="37">impact</g> of gutka bans in seven states, including the capital city, 98 <g data-gr-id="34">per cent</g> of gutka consumers in Delhi have supported the complete ban on tobacco products, while 97 <g data-gr-id="35">per cent</g> of consumers were in favour of the ban being extended to all other smokeless tobacco products.
While releasing the report, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said that the AAP government is in favour of banning tobacco products.
“As the matter is <g data-gr-id="36">subjudice</g> in Delhi high court, the government is waiting for the HC judgment on the issue. The moment court allows <g data-gr-id="46">ban</g> on gutka, the AAP government will make sure that the product is not sold in any part of the capital city.”
Jain further added: “The study shows that even gutka consumers want the ban to stay on. Then why should we lag behind? When there will no tobacco products available in the market, people will automatically get out of this habitual syndrome as consumption of gutka invites only <g data-gr-id="26">life threatening</g> diseases like cancer.”
“Citing the findings of the report, the AAP government will write a ‘very strong’ letter to Union Health Minister JP Nadda in the next 15 days to make gutka ban mandatory for each state/UT,” said Jain, adding that intentions of the Union government is not ‘clear’ as it has inducted owners of tobacco firms into Parliamentary Committee to review the impact of gutka.
The findings of <g data-gr-id="25">study</g> conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) lays emphasis on putting a blanket ban on smokeless tobacco products.
In Delhi, the surveys were conducted in the districts of South Delhi and East Delhi with current users, dual users and former gutka consumers. <g data-gr-id="44">Also</g> the survey was conducted on tobacco product retailers to determine the impact and effectiveness of gutka ban. The findings of the study report that 11 per cent to 29 per cent respondents had initiated gutka use when they were below 20 years. While 22 <g data-gr-id="27">per <g data-gr-id="43">cent</g></g> current users reported <g data-gr-id="42">to have</g> continued use of gutka even after the ban, which was zero among other categories of consumers.
“Of the 78 <g data-gr-id="31">per cent</g> who changed from gutka to something-similar-to-gutka, almost all of them did so when gutka was not available, while all the respondents opined that ban on gutka was good for <g data-gr-id="32">health</g> of children,” the report said.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India report, current smokeless tobacco users comprise 11 <g data-gr-id="33">per cent</g> of the total adult population of Delhi. The Delhi Health Minister had banned the sale, purchase and storage of chewable tobacco from March 30, which was stayed by the High Court after tobacco manufacturers challenged the order.