Thiruvananthapuram: Citing increasing incidence of diseases like oral cancer, the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala on Friday announced a ban on the manufacture and sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco in the state with immediate effect.
Announcing the decision at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the ban on gutka and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine was enforced under the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Regulation Act, 2011.
Kerala is the second state to ban the use of gutka and pan masala after Madhya Pradesh.
The increasing incidence of gutka-induced diseases like oral cancer had prompted the government to ban the products, Chandy said adding the Commissioner of Food Safety (Kerala) had issued the notification banning these products on May 22.
The government would strictly enforce the ban and take strong action in case of any violation, he said.
Chandy said he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking a total ban on these products in the country. However, the Centre had replied last month that the states had the jurisdiction to ban gutka and pan masala under the Food Safety and Standards Regulation Act, 2011.
The notification issued by the Commissioner prohibits the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of these products that contain tobacco and nicotine, in whatsoever name it is available in the market on Friday.