Bhubaneswar: Odisha government today announced a state-wide ban on the manufacture, sale and use of guthka and chewing tobacco containing nicotine.
"I appeal to people to cooperate with the state government to make Odisha a tobacco-free state," Health and Family Welfare Minister Damodar Rout said.
A notification in this regard will be issued in a day or two, he added.
Noting that Odisha was not the only state where government imposed such a ban, Rout said the Supreme Court and different High Courts had earlier directed the states to slap such a ban as the nicotine-contained chewing masalas triggered diseases like cancer.
However, the mininister said, the government has not so far taken any decision on use of cigarette though smoaking in public places is banned.
Odisha is the 15th state in the country to ban 'gutkha'. While union territory Chandigarh has effected a ban on it, Kerala banned pan masala and gutkha containing tobacco under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulation, 2011.
The states which have so far banned gutkha include Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab and Goa.