New Delhi: Despite ban on selling tobacco products in the national capital, shopkeepers continue to sell gutkas at inflated rates flouting the government orders.

According to Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), 48.2 percent of youths start consuming tobacco well before the age of 15 in national capital.

Approximately 13 lakhs people are passive smokers and 10 lakhs consume it in the form of either raw tobacco or gutka. Out of them, 20 percent succumb to untimely death.

According to the survey of Health and Family Welfare Ministry, the tobacco consumption starts to give its adverse effect in just 5-6 years. Oncologist of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Dr A K Dewan says that regular tobacco consumption significantly lowers sperm counts in males.    

According to a study, it has been said that 30 percent of tobacco consumers who have been in regular habit of chewing tobacco for past 5-10 years are vulnerable to impotency. Hearing a plea last week, the Delhi high court has asked the city government to impose the restriction on selling of tobacco products within two weeks. 

Keeping in view of possible health hazards, the Delhi government issued the order bringing it under the ambit of Food Safety Act, under which there is a provision of seven years imprisonment and penalty of Rs 10 Lakh.  

The tobacco consumers are finding it difficult to cope with the restrictions and are tempted to buy products at double or triple the rates. One shopkeeper in the Bhajanpura area told that he secretly procures “Bharat Shree” gutka made by Sahoo Enterprises.  

Few customers have told that Dilbagh gutka is selling at Rs 5 per sachet. Shikhar gutka is available at Rs 5. Bharat Shree is available at Rs 2 per sachet.

JPN/Bureau

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