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Maharashtra Revokes Ban On Pan Masala

An anonymous FDA personnel told the media channels that the revoking of the ban was because of extreme pressure from the lobbyists.

Maharashtra Revokes Ban On Pan Masala

In a shocker, the state has revoked its decision

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Maharashtra Food and Drug Association lifted the ban on pan masala
  2. Areca nut is a known carcinogen
  3. Revoking of the ban was because of extreme pressure from the lobbyists
Ban on sale and storage of pan masala also known as flavoured areca nut was a landmark decision taken by the State government, the first in the country to do so. Until now that is, four years after the decision the Maharashtra Food and Drug Association, on July 17, lifted the ban on pan masala. "Areca nut is a known carcinogen. It is present in pan masala, the sale of which was banned, but now the government is reconsidering it, which is shocking," said professor Pankaj Chaturvedi, Tata Memorial Hospital who treats head and neck cancers. "The World Health Organisation and several studies in India have proven beyond doubt that pan masala causes serious health hazards including mouth and throat cancer. All the research material has already been submitted to the FDA several times for the past 5 years. Our state is bound to become a laughing stock if the ban isn't continued," he added.

An anonymous FDA personnel told the media channels that the revoking of the ban was because of extreme pressure from the lobbyists. Dr Kailash Sharma, director (Academics) Tata Memorial Hospital said in a letter to the state, "We sincerely urge you to continue the ban on flavoured chewing tobacco and flavoured supari (Pan Masala) permanently to save our future generations. Currently, the ban is applicable for only one year and it has to be renewed annually.

Ashok Dhoble, secretary of the Indian Dental Association, said, "The epidemic of mouth cancer cannot be curtailed without a comprehensive prohibition of selling these lethal products freely as packaged mouth fresheners. We sincerely request that you will use your good offices to continue the ban on these smokeless tobacco and supari products to prevent premature deaths in our country."

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2010, a total of 27.6 per cent of Maharashtra's adult population chew tobacco. Mouth cancer is the most common cancer among men in Maharashtra due to excessive tobacco consumption.
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