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Saturday, June 01, 2013 1:28:23 PM (IST)  

Gutka ban - Will it see the same fate as prohibition on smoking?

Gutka ban - Will it see the same fate as prohibition on smoking?

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
 
Mangalore, Jun 1:
The state government has given a perfect gift to the people by deciding to ban gutka and other food products containing tobacco on World No Tobacco Day observed on 31st May every year. Twenty-four states in India have already banned gutka sale and distribution and Karnataka has been a trifle late in banning it. But it is better late than never and health ministry has taken the right decision to ban all forms of gutka. In some of the states where the ban is enforced illegal sale of the same goes clandestinely, nullifying the entire efforts.
 
There are dissenting voices opposing the ban saying ban of gutka will affect areca growers, which are of course unfounded. Health Minister U T Khadar has done well to allay these fears of areca growers. Gutka manufacturerís lobby will also try every trick up the sleeve to come out with its own defensive mechanism and oppose the ban. But in Uttar Pradesh which banned gutka in April this year, gutka manfucturers who approached the Apex Court against the ban received a jolt when the Supreme Court upheld the ban.
 

The challenge on hand
 
It is a challenge for the state to ensure that the ban is implemented stringently and offenders are punished so that it acts as a deterrent. The moot question at this juncture is how effectively the state will be able to implement the ban given the fact that such laws remain only on paper. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had prohibited smoking in public places in an order in 2008. As per the ban the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions is also prohibited, which is seldom followed. The court order banned smoking in all public places and public transports including railways and had asked the commissioners of the metros to keep it informed about the action taken again cigarette manufacturers violating the advertising code. Public places that come under the ban order include hospitals, health institutes, public offices, public transports, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries and auditoriums.
 
In the absence of the strict enforcement we could spot people regularly smoking in areas that qualify as public places. Passive smoking impairs the health of non-smokers who get affected for no fault of theirs, which is unfair. There are people who say smoking is a personal choice. But personal choice of smoking is deleterious to otherís health as second-hand smoke is quite harmful, something which smokers fail to acknowledge or they care a damn.
 

No Awareness
 
Public awareness on this in Dakshina Kannada district, the most literate district in the state, is nil and those who are aware carry on with the with gay abandon because everyone else seems to do so. People smoke freely in bus stands and other public places. Cigarettes are easily available in petty shops even near school/college zones. Cigarettes are easily available in the shops inside KSRTC bus stand.
 
The police along with the district health department have to ensure that the ban is enforced under cigarette and other tobacco products act (COTPA) But health officials of the state government are least bothered to do anything with the ban leave alone implementing it in our district. They are not even accessible to the media and to get the right person to answer this writer had to call up at least 12 health officials because they went on giving contact numbers of Mysore DHO and even a health official of Davanagere in their bid escape from answering the media.
 
Finally district tuberculosis officer Dr Ramakrishna Rao who responded to our query said that so far the health department has not taken any initiative to implement the ban on smoking in public places and there hasnít been any action against the offenders. He said ďthe health department has been concentrating its efforts on spreading more awareness especially in schools and collegesĒ. He however, denied that the ban on tobacco would go in the same way as the ban on smoking in public and it would be implemented with the right earnestness. .
 
Dr Vishak Acharya, Asst Professor of Pulmonary department at KMC says ďIt is high time the health department takes up the issue of banning tobacco sale and use in public places. Unless the law is enforced with the seriousness it deserves people continue to indulge in it. The smokers endanger the health of the general public as it may cause bronchitis, asthma, cough and other health problems. The public are affected without them being the cause of itĒ.
 
The need of the hour is to fight against it on a war footing. Politicians need to give up their self interest and come together on a cause that might be beneficial to the society in a big way. Health is wealth and we cannot allow our population to succumb to various illnesses due to narrow political considerations. At the same time once the ban becomes a law it should be enforced with the seriousness it deserves.

Comments on this article
Sheikh, Mangalore
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Alcohol also should be banned in the whole of the karnataka state. From the lawmakers to keepers to workers and everybody is binge drinking everyday and they have no idea what is to be banned and where ...

Venkat, Chennai
Thursday, June 06, 2013

Banning will not give any result unless the production itself is not stopped. As the article mentions 24 states have banned but no use.I agree with leslie comments. Increase taxes like western countries.

Malathi Devi, Surathkal
Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Please ban gutkha, cigarette and Alcohol. The poverty of the people will be lessened. Most of the poor people spent their earning on this bad habits and spend money for treatments.

Damodar Bhat, Udupi
Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Prices Of Areca farms have crashed. Areca farmers may commit suicide. This is a wrong move by the Govt. overnight.

Judith L, Mumbai
Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Till now they have earned lot money by ruining other people's life by gifting them with cancer.

Ravi, Dubai
Sunday, June 02, 2013

Mr. Louis,
Sidhu can definitely provide cheap Whisky and Brandy. his cabinet minister owns distilleries manufacturing Raja Whisky, cheapest available PREMIUM DRINK in Karnataka.

Prashanth, Mangalore
Sunday, June 02, 2013

What a joke...!!!! Gutkha selling ban in 24 states of india, and remaining 4 states are having Gutkha manufacturing unit and supplying across india illegally????? First identify the manufacturers and close the factory then ban selling. PEOPLE IN THIS FORUM ALWAYS FIGHTING BY COMMENTING HINDU, MUSLIM, BD, RSS OR ANY OTHER OUTFIT. I AM DAMN SURE NOBODY WANT TO STREAMLINE THE SYSTEM AND FIGHT FOR GOOD CAUSE.

Shivaraj, Sullia / Muscat
Sunday, June 02, 2013

It is good to ban Gutka, Smoking items, Liquor to continue a healthy life. Giving up Gutka-Cigarette habit is easy by using nicotine replacement therapy like ciplas chewing gums with deferent capacity depending upon the intensity of addiction.Overcoming an addiction to alcohol can be a long and bumpy road. At times, it may even feel impossible. But itís not. If youíre ready to stop drinking and willing to get the support you need, you can recover from alcoholism and alcohol abuseóno matter how bad the addiction or how powerless you feel. I personally given up all these above last one year. Try you can also.

hilda, pangala
Sunday, June 02, 2013

Not enough to tell about the ban but follow up,otherwise it will be like the plastic bags.

J.F.D'SOUZA, ATTAVAR,MANGALORE
Sunday, June 02, 2013

Gutka ban o.k! But why the Govt. not implementing the ban on smoking. Let the order be implemented immediately.

Santhosh Rego, Uppoor/ Dubai
Saturday, June 01, 2013

good move by Congress Govt. Can save tax payers money to treat Gutka related cancers. Why B.J.P. cannot do it earlier. Ban Endo sulphun also.

Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Gutka ban is one of the best step from health department of the state.Next,explore possibilities to ban smoking.This will automatically bring desciplain and crime rate down with less death and increase longivity in life.All the best.Thanq.

Louis D'Souza, Kuwait
Saturday, June 01, 2013

This year we are not growing rice in our fields. Bcz it's not working good with us. Can't afford to pay high wages RS.300/day. No body want wages by Rice, asking for cash. RS. 1/kg rice no body want to work in fields. BPL card holders will sell that rice to shop keepers for RS. 20 n bring Bangade fish to eat. I blame both congress n BJP for making poor people more lazy. Don't give them fish but teach them to catch fish. That's all I have to say.

Louis D'Souza, Kuwait
Saturday, June 01, 2013

After Gutka is baned supari growers will be benefitted. People will start using traditional pan supari, which is less harmful. Keep it up Siddhu. Ban cigarette too. Start -Arrack cheap but good quality drink. Or give subsidy to Bear. Ordinary daily wage workers can't afford to Whisky n Brandi. After days hard work they like to have a peg, else can't gather enough courage to give slaps to their wife's before dinner.

Ajith, Mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Not only gutka all types of pan masala should be banned.Then only we will be able to see less spitting people on the roads and more clean roads and neighborhoods.

Maxim, Madanthyar, Belthangady
Saturday, June 01, 2013

My Dear Friends, I welcome Gutka ban and it is ingredients of chemicals(99%), and supari is used very very less, if they use the arecanut that is not having any quality. I am arecanut grower, because of gutka ban there is no effect on arecanut at all. Most of them talks or comment without study of agriculture product. In future for kari-got we may not get good price, because it is throwing items. For other better quality supari we will get good price. My simple question to everyone here is that has any one asked the gutka companyís owner what is the main ingredients of Gutka? Please find the answer for it. We are arecanut growers are very much happy because at last Govt. ban the GUTKA and itís related products. Our better quality ARECANUT used in Maharastra, Gujarat and north Indian states & Pakistan.

Tony Crasta, Mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

I have no problem with ghutka/paan chewing as long as it is done sensibly - I mean as long as one doesn't spit out in the public places or from the moving vehicles etc. After all how many things you are going to ban? Beedies, cigarettes, and all forms of alcohols are harmful as well - are you going to ban them altogether? The economic repercussions on the beedi workers and areca growers need to be considered as well.

Bryan, Bahrain
Saturday, June 01, 2013

If we open a Gutka packet,we find more of other ingredients (chemicals) and less of supari.If the ban has not affected farmers in other States,I am sure it will not have any effect here

Ronald D, Udupi
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Congratulations to the new govt policy. Brave step in right direction. I am sure it will reduce gutka usage if not eliminates fully. In few years time it will have great result since majority people can not afford high price of smuggled gutka! Keep it up Khader Bhai!!!

Peace Lover, India
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Ban ! Ha Ha Ha ! It reminds me BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS ! NO MORE RAIDS NOW..AND PLASTICS BAGS ARE WIDELY USED. char din ki chandni phir Andheri raat!

G Bhat, Mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

All tobacco products are bad.Banning is welcome. However there may be some socio economic problems faced due to sudden ban like beedi workers may lose their job and many families will literally come to street. Protecting them is the responsibility of the government.
There are equally dangerous tobacco products like mava,khaini,Jardha,Madhu mix etc. Government should ban all of them.
Very important thing is punish all smuglers of tobacco products severly after banning as they could smugle them from other states.

sahil, dubai
Saturday, June 01, 2013

If you ban gutkha fine!but my sincere request ro recover the revenue from gutkha dont even think to increase the tax on us.

Ramesh S, mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

..Beedi also very dangerous,inhaled smoke directly going to lungs causing direct harm to the smoker and there is effect of passive smoke to non smokers also..can we ban it??..No..considering so many poor families involving in this industries, we have to think on larger scale..banning beedi will wil effect poor families badly..same in the case of Gutkha also..there should be awarness programs for the people on effects of tobacco..Govts short sided decission will ruin Areca farmers lives..if you ban something, you should have plan to accommodate with some other..Govt lacked both..

jeevan, mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Arecanut growers must unite and fight against the Gutka Ban by the congi govt... Why love for Cigaratee... Why love for cheap liquor.. ???

Vasant Raj, Mangalore / Abudhabi
Saturday, June 01, 2013

We can not ban Gutaks. Anything which is ban is available in black-market like how we are getting Gutka in UAE.

SURESH, Mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Good decision by the govt. Atleast one good move from the govt. smoking in public also needs to be banned.

HENRY MISQUITH, Bahrain
Saturday, June 01, 2013

SIDDU indeed has great administration skills.
BAN ALCOHOL as well. It doesnt do good either infact is more dangerous than Gutkha and Tobacco. It harms the mind and the body and brings murders, rapes, drunk driving accidents etc etc.. causing others too to suffer.

Pradeep S. K., Udupi/Bangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

We have to take 1st step to reach any goal or success. If you are not taking any step, then how it will success. So letís Government take 1st step as Gutka ban and we will wait for result. It is not one day job...............

jeevan, mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

It is nothing but a GUBBI MELE BRAHMAASTRE by CONGI GOVT.... Why no BAN for Cigaratee... Are they not behind your election campain expediture ??? No Gukta .. Yes to Tobacco...

Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Well said Jeevan. Actually Govt is prompting the gutka eaters to drink SIDDU SARAAYI. Govt should have considered the fate of Areca Nut growers before taking the decision. Farmers are the losers by this Govt's decision.

Krishna, Malpe
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Jeevan and Dinesh Poojary hajam nahin kar pa rahen hai. hahahaha

jeevan, mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Yes we dont use Saari/cheap liquor like you for hajam karna..

gerald, modankap
Saturday, June 01, 2013

at least congis trying their best to be people friendly not like BJP corruption friendly

melvin, kemmannu/udupi
Saturday, June 01, 2013

It is a very good move from the health minister,but this will not effect the people those who are already addicts, unless you ban the whole country.They can get it from the neighbouring states & those states will make the revenue.

Leslie Fernandes, Brahmagiri, Udupi
Saturday, June 01, 2013

IT IS NOT EASY TO IMPLEMENT THIS RULE.
CLANDESTINE SUPPLIES MAY THREATEN LIVES EVEN HARDER.
INSTEAD OF BANNING MAKE IT VERY EXPENSIVE BY ADDED TAXES.

rohan, mangalore/oman
Saturday, June 01, 2013

This ban should be strictly implemented across the state. Many of the states have gone ahead with the same in the country. Something that would create better health practice and cleaner environment. Many of the buildings around the city will have cleaner walls and corners...

Dr Edmond Fernandes - , Health Concern Foundation - www.hcfindia.org
Saturday, June 01, 2013

We highly appreciate the move of the govt of Karnataka and the ministry of health and family welfare in particular. Health Concern Foundation is with you.

Ahmed, Mangalore
Saturday, June 01, 2013

Areca growers should change their product and grow alternatives like coconut, rubber etc., which are non hazardous to the health of public. If areca growers are adamant, it is like Pathans in Afghanistan growing OPIUM.

CYRIL MASCARENHAS, KIREM/MIRA ROAD/DXB-SHARJAH
Saturday, June 01, 2013

IN INDIA, NOTHING IS POSSIBLE TO BAN..IF BANNED YOU WILL GET MORE GUTKA PEOPLE WILL SMUGGLE..SEE GUJRAT,LIQUOR IS BANNED THERE BUT YOU WILL GET VERY EASILY...

 
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