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Telangana Imposes One-Year Ban on Gutka and Pan Masala Containing Tobacco and Nicotine

In a decisive move to protect public health, the Telangana government has announced a one-year ban on the manufacture, storage, distribution, and sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine. The prohibition, which takes effect today, aims to curb the serious health risks associated with these products.

The order, issued by the Food Safety Commissioner, invokes the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, to enforce the ban across the entire state. According to the official directive, the banned substances include gutka and pan masala packed in sachets, pouches, packages, or containers, regardless of the name under which they are sold.

“Telangana state hereby prohibits the manufacture, storage, distribution, transportation and sale of Gutkha/Pan masala which contains tobacco and nicotine as an ingredient which are packed in sachets/pouches/package/containers etc., or by whatever name it is called in the entire State of Telangana for a period of one year with effect from May 24, 2024,” the order read.

The decision follows growing concerns about the health implications of consuming gutka and pan masala. These products have been linked to a range of serious health issues, including oral cancer, oral submucous fibrosis, and other debilitating conditions.

The Telangana government’s initiative is part of a broader public health strategy to reduce the incidence of diseases caused by tobacco and nicotine consumption. This move is expected to have significant positive impacts on public health, potentially reducing the prevalence of tobacco-related diseases and encouraging healthier lifestyle choices among the state’s residents.

Health experts and public health advocates have welcomed the ban, highlighting the urgent need to address the health hazards posed by these products. They argue that such regulatory measures are essential to protect the population from the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine.

The enforcement of the ban will involve strict monitoring and regulation by state authorities to ensure compliance. Violations of the ban will be subject to penalties under the relevant provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act.

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