Shimla: A complete ban on the sale, storage, manufacture and distribution of tobacco-based products, gutka (tobacco-laced areca nut pieces) and pan masala came into force in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, an official said.

The ban had been imposed July 13 but the government deferred it after a few days. A government official said the decision to put off the ban till Gandhi Jayanti (Oct 2) was taken by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal following an appeal by retailers who wanted exhaust their stocks.

The hill state has already banned smoking in public places and its capital Shimla has been declared a "smoke-free" town.


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