The Haryana government Friday announced a ban from Aug 15 on the manufacturing, storage, distribution or sale of gutka, pan masala, zarda and other chewable products containing tobacco and nicotine. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting here headed by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Hooda said the decision to ban these items had been taken because tobacco was a leading cause of death and preventable diseases.
Tobacco use is estimated to have caused nearly 120,000 deaths across India in 2010, according to research carried out by the Toronto-based Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) in partnership with Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital. Nearly 600,000 Indians die of cancer every year – over seven in 10 deaths (71 percent) takes place in the 30-69 age group, the most productive period of a person’s life, says the report published in the latest issue of the Lancet medical journal. The study points out that Kerala had among the highest age standardised cancer mortality rates per 100,000 for men in the 30-69 age group (158.5 for all cancers and 53.9 for tobacco-related cancers).