Mumbai: The Maharashtra government announced a ban on the production, sale, distribution and storage of gutkha and paan masala in the state.
The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, sources said.The ban on gutkha and paan masala (both flavoured tobacco-based products) will result in revenue loss of Rs 100 crore per year for the state exchequer, but the decision has been taken in larger public interest, they said.
Maharashtra has joined a handful of states, among them Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, to ban gutkha, blamed for oral diseases such as cancer.
Maharashtra had imposed a ban on the two products in 2002 and 2008 also but the decision could not pass legal scrutiny.
The ban has been enforced through Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sale) Regulation, 2011.
The sources said the ban has been effected taking into consideration growing cases of cancer in the state.