Delhi extends ban on manufacture, storage and distribution of gutkha, pan masala

New Delhi (NVI): Delhi Government has continued the ban on the sale, storage, manufacture and distribution of gutkha and pan masala for one more year in the interest of public health.

The ban on these tobacco-based products also comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The move can be seen as the Delhi Government’s attempt to prohibit spitting in public places as coronavirus is a highly communicable disease that spreads through droplets in air or a solid surface.

In this regard, Food Safety Commissioner DN Singh has issued a notification on the ban of these products. As per the notification, the sale of tobacco which is either “flavoured, scented or mixed with any of the said additives,” is banned.

However, there has been no ban on sale of cigarettes. According to medical experts across the globe as well as WHO, COVID-19 symptoms are worse in smokers who get the virus than in nonsmokers who get sick.

The prohibition of spitting in public places and the prohibition of paan, gutka, tobacco in public places was part of a notification issued by the government last month.

Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has also directed all district magistrates to maintain daily data on violations of COVID-19 rules such as maintaining of social distancing and prohibition on spitting in public places in their respective districts.