The Jharkhand government Tuesday banned manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of 'gutka' (tobacco-laced areca nut pieces) in the state, said an official.
The Jharkhand cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arjun Munda took the decision to ban 'gutka'.
"Cancer cases are on the rise and of the total cancer cases, 25 per cent are related to mouth cancer. The state cabinet has agreed to ban manufacturing, storage, distribution and sale of tobacco and nicotine based gutka and pan masala," said Jharkhand Cabinet Secretary N.N. Pandey told reporters here after the cabinet meeting.
Health Minister Hemlal Murmu said: "From today (Tuesday) gutka and pan masala have been banned. We will ensure that the ban is implemented strictly in the state."
Several states in India have already banned manufacture and sale of both gutka and pan masala, a betel nut preparation laced with chewing tobacco or other substances.
The Jharkhand cabinet also approved Rs.360 crore to provide 35 kg food grain at rate of Rs.1 a kg per month to each of the 14.76 lakh Below Povert Line (BPL) families in the state.