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Guwahati: The Health and Family Welfare Department of Assam extended the prohibition order against the manufacture, storage, transportation, display, distribution, and/or sale of Gutka, Pan Masala, or any chewing materials, etc. containing tobacco and/or nicotine for one more year.

This ban comes under Regulation 2.3.4. of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 read with Section 26 of the Food Safety and Standards Acts, 2006.

“After the continues demand from Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam, for the first time, Commissioner of Food Safety, Assam issued a Notification Vide No.FSC.12/2013/979 dated Guwahati the 22nd November, 2019 and imposed prohibition on the manufacture, storage, transportation, display, distribution or sale of Gutka, Pan Masala or any chewing materials etc. containing tobacco and/or nicotine,”[sic] stated a press release.

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On November 11, Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, Secretary, Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam with a delegation team, met Monalisa Goswami the Commissioner & Secretary of, Health & Family Welfare Department who is in the charge of Commissioner of Food Safety, Assam. There they submitted a memorandum demanding to extend the previous prohibition order for one more year that expired on November 22.

Thanking the Government of Assam for the timely extension of the order stated, Hazarika stated, “In present COVID-19 epidemic situation, use of tobacco products are one of the most vulnerable part as aware by WHO, ICMR, Govt. of India and Govt. of Assam. This extension order will definitely have an impact on public health of Assam.”[sic].

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