Mumbai, July 18: Maharashtra government today extended the ban on gutkha and pan masala across the state by another year.
It was in July last year that the state government had issued a notification banning the sale and consumption of gutkha and pan masala in the state. That ban was to be in force till tomorrow.
Minister of state for Home Satej Patil today informed the Legislative Assembly that the ban was being extended for another 12 months.
The minister later informed reporters at Vidhan Bhawan that gutkha was one of the major reasons for oral diseases, including cancer. The state had attempted to ban gutkha in 2002 and then in 2008, but had encountered several legal hurdles.
Ultimately, it was the Food Safety and Standards Act, which facilitated the ban last year. Karnataka last month became the 26th state to ban the sale, manufacture, storage and distribution of gutkha and pan masala.
A ban on the above products is also in place in five Union Territories. The Act prohibits the sale of items containing nicotine and gutkha as ingredients.
The manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco or nicotine as an ingredient, by whatsoever name it is available in the market, is prohibited in the state in the interest of public health, the minister said.