Continuing his unflinching efforts for the cause of tobacco control in the state, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a country-wide ban on gutka.
In a letter sent a few days ago, Chandy requested Manmohan Singh to ‘ban gutka products containing tobacco and nicotine in all the states.
By doing so, India would not only be able to save millions of children and youth- our productive resources of the future - but also send a clear signal of our commitment to public health’.
Chandy said that it was a momentous achievement as only 14 more states and six Union Territories remain to be addressed.
He also informed that Kerala was the second state in the country to ban pan masala and gutka containing tobacco products under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulation, 2011.
He also stated that a country-wide ban on the product would ‘stop smuggling of gutka from those states which had not banned gutka to those states which had banned gutka’.
In a similar letter, Tobacco Free Kerala Vice-Chairman Paul Sebastian said that the ban should be implemented and enforced in all the remaining states so that Indian society gets rid of this public health menace once and for all.
Already Sebastian, who is the director of the Regional Cancer Centre here, along with directors of 12 Regional Cancer Centres and the heads of Indian Dental Association and Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai had made individual appeals to the Prime Minister and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for banning gutka in all states.