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The West Bengal government has imposed a ban on the manufacturing, storage, sale, or distribution of gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco and/or nicotine as ingredients for a period. The ban will come into effect from November 7 this year.

According to a notification issued by the West Bengal government's health department, the decision has been taken by keeping in mind the health of people. It said that the Food Safety of the State commissioner is empowered under Section 30 of the food safety and standards act, 2006 to impose such a ban on the manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of any article of food in the entire state for a period of one year.

"As per regulation 2.3.4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations 2011 made by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, in the exercise of powers conferred by clause (i) of sub-section (2) of section 92 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (Central Act 34 of 2006) read with section 26 thereof, prohibits the sale of articles of food in which tobacco and/or nicotine are used as ingredients, as they may be injurious to health," the state government said in its notification.

This is not the first time the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government has imposed a ban on tobacco and nicotine products. In 2019, her government banned gutkha, betel spice, and several other tobacco products.

And, in 2013, the West Bengal government had banned khaini, pan masala, and gutkha for a year.

Last month, the Haryana government extended the ban on the sale and manufacture of gutkha and pan masala for one year. In Haryana, the sale and purchase of tobacco products have been prohibited for a year from Sept 7, 2021.

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