In a study conducted by the WHO in seven states – Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha and National Capital Region (NCR) - 92 percent respondents supported ban on sale of gutka, while a whopping 99 per cent said the ban was good for the health of Indian
"These findings have a strong message that regulatory mechanisms are effective and can have a positive impact on the consumption pattern. The ban did impact use. Of the respondents who continue to use pre-packaged gutka, 49 percent reported they consume less since the ban. There was high degree of unanimity among respondents (90 percent) that the government should ban the manufacturing, sale and distribution of other forms of smokeless tobacco," WHO Representative to India Dr Nata Menabde said in a release here.

"This innovation has adversely affected the very purpose and consequent impact of the ban," he added. The study found that interest in quitting is high as approximately half of respondents reported attempting to quit gutka in last one year. As a whole about 80 per cent of respondents agreed that ban on gutka will help people to quit it.
Surveys were conducted with 1,001 people who currently consume gutka and those who quit it and 458 tobacco product retailers to gain insight into the effect of the ban on consumer use and product availability.
Observations of 450 retail environments and 54 in-depth interviews with government officials, enforcement officials and citizens working with civil society groups were also included in the study.
Gutka, a form of chewing tobacco flavoured with spices and sweeteners, is a major cause of oral cancer in India, it said. In recent years, all states in the country have banned the manufacturing, sale and distribution of gutka in an effort to address the astounding public health impacts caused by this
deadly product.

India is the world's largest consumer of smokeless tobacco and recent estimates indicate that 26 per cent of adults (15 years of age or older) use smokeless tobacco.Tobacco use is a major preventable cause of death and disease worldwide. Nearly one million people die in India every year due to tobacco use.

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