In the public interest, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today ordered to ban the manufacturing of Guthka, Pan Masala, Processed/flavored/scented chewing tobacco and any other food products containing tobacco in the state with immediate effect.
Prior to this, the state government had issued a notification dated January 1, 2016 banning the storage, sale or distribution of Gutkha, Pan Masala, processed/flavored/scented chewing tobacco and any other food products containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients by whatever name these are called as final products available in the market and has been prohibited for one year in the whole of the State of Punjab.
However, in view of public health, Badal has now asked the Health department to take immediate steps to ensure complete ban on the manufacturing of Guthka, Pan Masala, processed/flavored/scented chewing tobacco and any other food products containing tobacco in the state, in addition to the above said notification.
The Chief Minister directed the Health Department for strict compliance of these orders and added that no laxity on the part of any erring officer/official in its implementation would be tolerated at any cost.
The State government said the ban had been issued as the sale is in violation of Section 7 of the COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products, Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act, 2003).
Section 7 of COTPA prohibits any trade or commerce in cigarettes or any other tobacco products unless every package of cigarettes or any other tobacco products sold, supplied or distributed carries specified warning including pictorial warning.