JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has announced a ban on sale of several pan masala products that contain magnesium carbonate, nicotine, tobacco, mineral oil and flavoured 'supari'. In a public statement on Wednesday, Health Minister Raghu Sharma said, “All such products will now be banned in the state under the Food Safety Act and it is an important decision taken to curb addiction amongst the youth”.
As per the announcement, production, storage, distribution and sale of all such products will not be allowed in the state, making Rajasthan the third state after Maharashtra and Bihar to announce such a move.
In keeping with an announcement made earlier in the State Assembly by the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, all kinds of pan spices containing nicotine, magnesium carbonate and mineral oil have been banned in Rajasthan from October 2nd, Gandhi Jayanti.
The order prohibits the production, storage and sale of pan masala and flavoured betel nut containing magnesium carbonate, nicotine, tobacco or mineral oil in the state under the Food Safety Act and all the food safety officers of the state have been instructed to seek compliance of the ban.
Significantly, on the occasion of the World Tobacco Prohibition Day (31 May) this year, the Gehlot government had banned e-cigarettes in Rajasthan and then too, production, storage, distribution, advertising and sale of e-cigarettes, either online or offline, was prohibited.
On that occasion too, it was pointed out that the important decision was taken to curb drug addiction among the younger generation. CM Gehlot says his “government had promised to take effective steps to prevent drug addiction among the youth” and the “public manifesto had been accepted as a policy document by the state government” as it will lead to a drug-free younger generation.
It may be pointed out that before Rajasthan, pan masalas of three well-known brands in Bihar had been banned by the Food Safety Commissioner as these were reportedly found laced with magnesium carbonate that increases risk of a heart attack.
Nearly 15 types of paan spices have been banned in Bihar and the ban has been imposed for one year.