PATNA : After the prohibition of any type of liquor with effect from April 5, Bihar government has also decided to prohibit the distribution, manufacture, storage, distribution, consumption, transportation, display or the sale of any type of ‘gutka’ and pan masala containing tobacco or nicotine with effect from Saturday for a period of one year.
RK Mahajan, commissioner Of Food Safety, Bihar government in its notification said that the prohibition would be applicable in the interest of public health for a period of one year from May 21.
Gutkha and Paan masala are widely used as ingredients now-a-days. Gutkha and Panmasala containing tobacco or nicotine in Bihar, being food products in which tobacco and nicotine are widely used as ingredients.
The state is empowered under Section 30 (2) (a) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 to prohibit, for one year, in the interest of public health, the manufacture, storage, distribution , transportation, display or sale of any article of food in the whole of state.
The harmful effects of tobacco, beetel nut, and several of the additives found in the form of Gutka and Pan masala, causes acute Hyper- magnesemia, cardiac arrest, oral sub mucous fibrosis, oral cancer, Leukoplakia, Esophageal cancer, Stomach cancer, Metabolic abnormalities, reproductive health, Gastro intestinal and respiratory diseases.
It is one of the primary duties of the state, inter alia, to improve public health, as a matter one of the directive principles as enshrined in the article 4l of the constitution of India and, whereas, it implicitly includes the concept of provision of measures to be taken for prevention of deterioration of citizen’s health, said an official.