Delhi government will make all possible efforts to implement the ban on sale, purchase, storage and manufacturing of all forms of chewable tobacco products in the state, Health Minister Satyendra Jain said here today.
"Delhi Government prohibited the manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of all forms of smokeless tobacco products in the national capital. However, the Delhi High Court has asked the state government not to take any coercive action against the petitioners to enforce the ban," said Jain, as he released the study report findings on the impact and effectiveness of the legal ban on smokeless tobacco consumption in New Delhi
"We will submit these study report findings to the court so that necessary steps can be taken to ensure that the notification is duly implemented in the interest of public health," he said.
The study was conducted in 8 States in India including Delhi. The other states include Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha.
The study revealed that the support for gutka bans in eight states is very high (92 per cent) across the studied jurisdictions and there was an almost universal agreement (99 per cent) that gutka bans are good for the health of India's youth.
Some of the key findings of the Delhi study stated that there was universal support (98 per cent) for the ban even by those who were currently consuming tobacco products in the form of gutka or any other form.
When asked about the reasons for the ban, almost 50 per cent of current users and dual users reported they were not aware of the reasons for the ban, the study said.
Ninety seven per cent of the respondents were in favor of the ban being extended to all other smokeless tobacco products. All the respondents said that the ban on gutka was good for the health of children.
Also, 80 per cent of current and dual users felt that gutka ban will definitely help in quitting gutka or similar product, cited the study report.
"The manufactures have devised a subterfuge to sell gutkha using twin packaging and people are purchasing tobacco and mixing it with a packet of pan masala with zarda so therefore it is important to implement smokeless tobacco ban in the state of Delhi," said Seema Gupta, Director, Voluntary Health Association of India.