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State government imposes ban on manufacture, sale of gutka in Odisha
The state government on Tuesday imposed a state-wide ban on manufacture, sale and use of gutka and chewing tobacco, which contains nicotine, in public places. The state government announced a ban on its manufacture, sale and use in public places.

"I APPEAL to the people of state to co-operate with the government to make Odisha a tobacco-free state," said Health and family welfare Minister Damodhar Raut. The minister said this Supreme Court and different High Courts had earlier directed the sates to enforce the ban as the nicotine laced tobacco triggers disease like cancer. 

Odisha is the 15th state in the country to have banned gutaka while union territory Chandigarh and Kerala were the first to have banned pan masala and gutaka under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and restriction on sales) regulation 2011. Several other states followed suit. Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Goa have already banned manufacture and use of gutaka in public places. 

Any violation would draw panel action by the food safety authorities in Odisha. As per Global Adult survey, tobacco use in Odisha is very high. As per the survey more than 43% of the population chew tobacco.  Tobacco consumption among women is also high at over 35% developing the habit in Odisha. Over 40% of all cancer detected in the state is caused by tobacco.

The ban should be enforced strictly - the public has opined. We will have no stone unturned to ensure the gutakas are no more sold anywhere in the state, and seek co-operation from people to inform the administration where ever these products are sold, assured the senior health officials in Odisha.      

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